Hailing from the city of Haifa, Israel, death Metal/Metalcore quintet Ferium take their lyrical inspiration from the real life struggle of living in constant fear of attack and from the daily threat of violence, so the resulting debut album, 'Reflections', is one filled with passion and anger, the perfect recipe for death Metal.
Although they have no political messages or affiliations, the constant strain on their lives and tragedies they have experienced has indirectly inspired their sound.
'Reflections', which has been four years in the making follows their debut EP, 'The New Law', in 2009 and a demo also called 'Reflections' last year which featured four of the twelve tracks on this full length release.
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Soundwise they incorporate a lot of powerful blasts giving a very intense feel as well as some dense grooves, which was the aspect that I liked the most about the album.
The vocals are throat curdling, ranging from deep growls which I liked a lot, to a higher scream, a little more clarity would have been good but nonetheless they were well executed across the vocal spectrum.
The drum work is good across the album, at times intricate and precise and there's a great down tuned sound to the bass, which at those points when it becomes prominent, adds a lot of depth and expands the groove of the overall sound, as on the second track 'Downhill From Nothing' which also has a sleazy edge to the groove.
No one track stood out but there are a lot of standout elements within the tracks; some great, albeit brief, guitar work towards the close of the dark and intense 'The Very Existence' or the effective intense jazz like rhythm to 'Mirror' and the overall groove to 'Caustic Value' and the punchy 'Change Of Winds', especially contrasted against the vocals and the more intense parts of the tracks, there is also more great bass work on 'Change Of Winds'.
I am used to midway palate cleansing instrumentals but 'The Black Eyes' took me by completely by surprise, firstly for having a smooth, progressive, almost jazz like groove which threw me completely, particularly when compared to the previous tracks and secondly that it continued to build in depth and intensity to the extent that I kept expecting the vocals to kick in and sear the flesh from my face.
Saying that, as an instrumental it works just fine, I think it's a great track and the expected face searing happens as the vocals open early in the next track, 'Lust Fool', this contrast having a powerful effect, making it feel even more intense as a result.
Overall 'Reflections' is a pretty good listen and a decent debut release.