FEAR MY THOUGHTS
"Vulcanus"

(Century Media)

01. Accompanied by Death
02. Blankness
03. Culture of Fear
04. Accelerate or Die
05. Stamp of Credence
06. Survival Scars
07. Vulcanus
08. Soul Consumer
09. Both Blood
10. Gates to Nowhere
11. Lost in Black
12. Wasteland

RATING: 8/10

Germany's FEAR MY THOUGHTS has been honing their musical form on each release, making the term "progression" a most fitting description for what has occurred on the basically traditional thrash of "The Great Collapse" to the more varied work (keys, melodic development) of "Hell Sweet Hell", both released on Lifeforce. Century Media recognized the potential and has recently released "Vulcanus". This time the band retains its core thrash delivery and brings together an effective mix of aggression with varied songwriting and perhaps the most compelling melodies yet.

A first rate production courtesy of Jacob Hansen (ABORTED, MERCENARY) gives the disc a thick and chunky sound, a tight and crisp rhythm section, and the rubbery low-end that has characterized the flawless mixes of so many modern Swedish melodic death/thrash acts. Songs like "Accompanied by Death", "Accelerate or Die" (featuring DESTRUCTION's Schmier on bass/vocals and Mike Sifringer on guitar) "Lost in Black", and "Survival Scars" pack a lethal punch with a heavy thrash approach. Sometimes accented with death metal elements (the occasional death vocal, etc), the tunes are always held together with more than a modicum of melody. It is on "Blankness" and "Gates to Nowhere" that the band most successfully combines a modern thrash approach with extremely catchy choruses. Other tracks, such as "Culture of Fear" and "Wasteland" incorporate the light with the heavy, accenting the compositions with sweetly picked guitars, tough riffing, and keyboard nuances. The five-minute title track is an instrumental that sort of brings together all of the elements, including a classic organ sound and a bluesy, wah-pedal enhanced solo to close out the track. Incidentally, the keyboards on the album are played by Kim Oelsen (ANUBIS GATES) who has assisted the band on previous efforts.

Look for "Vulcanus" to catapult FEAR MY THOUGHTS into that select group of modern and melodic thrash/death metal artists commonly recognized by discerning fans the world over. Though "Vulcanus" does not bring a great deal to the table that has not been done before, the album is undeniably one of the better examples of the form you are likely to hear this year.

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