Sound — 9
There's always been something going on about metal in the Northern countries. Maybe it comes from the rough of the weather or it has something to do with the historical background. Either way, a new release from a German metal band Fear My Thoughts just proves the rule. Vulcanus is their fifth album and another reason to be proud for. The record is Fear My Thoughts' debut for Century Media Records, produced by Jacob Hansen (Communic, Maroon, Hatesphere, Mercenary). The music is played with wild energy and huge intense. Despite all the brutal mood of the record, the melodies create some kind of an morose beauty. The band blends a lot of different metal genres in Vulcanus - from melodic death metal to progressive and metalcore. Even though they could well do by themselves, Fear My Thoughts invited a few friends to join them on the record. Destruction's Marcel Schirmer helped the frontman Mathias Benedikt von Ockl on vocals and Bartosz Wojciechowski on bass, Mike Sifringer played some of the guitars. The guys asked Kim Oelsen of Anubis Gates to write the keyboard parts and play them on the record. What might seem a strange idea, turned out really well -- the keyboards give more melody to the songs and add to their original sound. As on any good metal record, the playing technique and the speed are incredible. Guitarists Markus Ruf and Patrick Hagman are competing who can play faster. Now you can believe they've spent all of their lives learning to play guitars fast, really fast. There are a lot of the instrumental parts in the songs which give you an opportunity to appreciate beautiful passages by twin guitars -- the title song is a perfect example. The guys often refer to the old school thrashing guitars while creating masterpieces. Along the record you're gonna find some unexpected touches that vary the songs and create the contrast in the music. Like the light break in the slow and heavy Culture Of Fear -- with almost danceable electronic drums (or are they played by a person? With such a virtuous drummer like Norman Lonhard you may easily by confused).
Lyrics — 8
You're gonna have fun to actually understand what they are singing about. No, it's not the famous German accent, it's just that the vocalist Mathias Benedikt von Ockl prefers screamo to singing. He growls like a huge wounded animal, often very low and really deep. The voice seems to come straight from his guts. The scary Hoy! back vocals in Survival Scars give you the feeling you're overhearing a Viking feats.
Overall Impression — 9
Fear My Thoughts formed back in 1998 and gained some experience along the way, touring with such great musicians as Exodus, Caliban, Hypocrisy, and The Haunted. The songwriting on Vulcanus is very solid and the record is full of interesting ideas a lot of famous metal bands should pay attention to. Producer Jacob Hansen made an awesome job on the record, trying to bring to order the band's impetuous energy. Like in an agony, the tracks are played in mid-tempo and fast-tempo speed with a very few moments for a rest. There might have been more slower tracks on the album as Fear My Thoughts appear at their best in heavy ballads. Vulcanus is different-flavored and varied, managing not to sound like something you've already heard. It is worth about 60 minutes, but doesn't make you yawn or skip the tracks looking for something more interesting. Well, what should be said after all is Germans do it better!