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Fangtooth : Fangtooth

Fangtooth is all you can think of when speaking of Trad Doom.

The Trad Doom scene is boiling these days and new bands are eager to show the world what they a capable of… the Italian band Fangtooth is one of those who have sucked at the breast of Black Sabbath, Countraven, and Reverend Bizarre… like so many others. I must say, as long as you have some groove and heavy Iommi-like riffing, the result is rarely really bad. Some like Hour Of 13 or Sinister Tales are stripped to the bones and yet still stay quite enjoyable.

The main caracteristic of Fangtooth is the singer. He has a somewhat dark voice, nasal, that sounds at times like the one in Warrior Soul (I don't know where this exemple come from!) Really an interesting feature on this album. As for the guitar work, the riffing is always heavy and insistent, powerful and headbangable, a big machine properly oiled that can sound a bit stubborn also…

The fisrt song isn’t too convincing, it sounds a bit forced to be honest, the rhythm section is a bit flaccid. Some breaks come crawling with a highly solemn touch. There is an almost funny side in the systematic way the songwriting is structured: it works on an alternation between heavy riffing, slowing downs and some accelerations a bit tepid. The voice makes the difference, but it isn’t very satisfying.

The second song starts like Trouble. Good point. the riffing is more delicate et subtle. There are some good melodic ideas that work as spurs: some shouted choirs, a cascading riff. A very good drumming all along the disc, round, supple and fluent. But I find too many moments within the songs when it losts a bit of its interest where patterns drag too long… it won’t last but still, it happens and this detracts from the overall interest. Otherwise, each song has its personnality. There is a big effort made to add more dynamic. Although it all stays tight and eventuyally comes back to the main pattern, there’s a lot going on. It’s good without being overly impressive.

In fact, beyond more trudging riffs ala Reverend Bizarre, more tragic solos and greasy bass lines, I’ll repeat myself, but what really stands out it’s the voice. I like the way the vocal lines are modulated, there have many forms, from high-pitced voice to dramatic echoeing sermon, over bestial barkings and epic soaring chants, each form intertwining with the other... The problem is these good melodic ideas are too timidly displayed and on a whole, the vocals do sound too monolithic and forced and hardly take the time to venture into more daring, maybe fragile territories. It could reflect the singer self-concious limits. He’d then keep this register on purpose.

Well, Fangtooth is all you can think of when speaking of Trad Doom: epic, melancholic, tragic, thoughtful and fierce. This is a worthy effort although it can take some times before it really clicks and makes you want more of it. Fangtooth have written a damn good piece of Doom metal, maybe their major flaw is that it sounds too traditional; Anyway, I took enough pleasure out of this good fat slab of Metal not to advice you to do the same. Let’s take some more time to see into the last track: ‘Cry of the Nephilim’ is a crushing piece of Doom, the cry of lamented souls shrouded in a proud despair. It contains the most impressive passage of all the album, unfortunatyely it won’t last: plodding rhythm on a eerie keyboard with an agonizing voice wailing in the back…tremendous effect!

As a matter of fact, being a first album, it can be seen as a rough gem that still has to be polished and be given a personal shape to let all its radiance burns your eyes. Let’s hope this will happen.

Reviewer's rating: 5.5/10


Tracklist :
1. The Eye of God
2. Rise Again
3. Father
4. In Depths We Lie
5. Martyr
6. Cry of the Nephilim

Duration : Approx. 39 minutes

Visit the Fangtooth bandpage.

Reviewed on 16-09-2010 by Bertrand marchal
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