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The Charm The Fury: 'The Sick, Dumb & Happy'
Out Now (Nuclear Blast)

johnny main
Words: Johnny Main

the charm the fury

The Charm The Fury are a Dutch Metal band (from Amsterdam, actually) who were formed in 2010, and who released an independent EP, 'The Social Meltdown', two years later. Their first full length album, 'A Shade Of My Former Self' was released in 2013 and was followed up with appearances at the FortaRock Festival in Nijmegen and Belgium's Graspop Metal Meeting in Belgium.

'The Sick, Dumb & Happy' is The Charm The Fury's second full length effort and was recorded at a number of different studios including Backbone Audio in Amsterdam, ICP Studios (Brussels), Sandlane Studios (Rijen) and Sub-Bass Studios in Zwijndrecht.

Encompassing eleven tracks and spanning some forty or so minutes, this release is a showcase for not only the vocal talents of singer Caroline Westendorp but also for the musicians that make up this Nu-Metal/Groove Metal outfit.

"Fast and furious" with "aggressive" tendencies are the key words to describe this release, and nothing is a half measure as the band blast their way through each track. Opener 'Down On The Ropes' typifies the five-piece's sound - strong guitar riffs that could be straight out of the Pantera songbook with incredibly strong vocal performances from Westendorp.

The same could be said of 'Echoes' with its less than fluis guitar riff. It still works though and again the vocals from Westendorp are incredible and there's a bref moment of lightness mid-way through before the guitar solo from Rolf Perdok reasserts itself to become the focal point of the song.

'Weaponized' is probably the fastest track here and is amongst the heaviest of the selection too. The rhythm guitar riff from new addition to the line-up, Martijn Slegtenhorst, is joined by the pounding, metronomic drums from Mathijs Tieken which gives way to a shouty chorus that's just begging for a bit of audience participation during live shows.

'Blood And Salt' in comparison is one of the slower numbers but it doesn't lack power with the guitar riff and those incredible vocals from Westendorp shining through. The guitar riff trails off in the mid-section and makes way for some dreamy vocals but it's not long before the song reverts to type and is bound to get the foot tapping along if nothing else.

There's more to this band than fast, aggressive songs however, as can be demonstrated by 'Silent War' which is the ballad of the album. The angry vocals from Westendorp are replaced by a soft and subtle performance which is in-tune with the simple, slow-paced guitar, showing that she can do subtlety just as well as she can do anger and aggression. The lyrics may be downbeat but they're more reflective than melancholy and show a totally different side to the band.

This album is intriguing and interesting enough to place The Charm The Fury on my 'To See Live' list, although with a single UK live date planned (Friday 3rd November at the Assembly Hall, Islington along with Eluveitie and Amaranthe) in amongst a long list of dates in mainland Europe, it looks like I'm going to have to do some travelling to see the band live in action.

You can see The Charm The Fury live here:
Saturday 22nd July: Woodstage Open Air, Dresden*
Sunday 23rd July: Backstage, Munich**
Tuesday 25th July: Rock In Roma, Rome*
Wednesday 26th July: Castelli Scaligero, Villafranca Di Verona*
Saturday 29th July: Qstock Festival, Oulu
Friday 4th August: VOA Fest, Corroios
Saturday 5th August: Tivoli Vredenburg, Utrecht*
Friday 11th August: Into The Grave Festival, Leeuwarden
Sunday 13th August: Sziget Festival, Budapest
Friday 18th August: Nirwana Tuinfeest, Lierop
Saturday 19th August: Summerbreeze Festival, Dinkelsbühl
Friday 25th August: Reload Festival, Sulingen
Saturday 9th September: Appelpop, Tiel
Wednesday 25th October: Campus Industry, Parma***
Thursday 26th October: Barba Negra, Budapest***
Friday 27th October: Progresja, Warsaw***
Saturday 28th October: Masters Of Rock Café, Zlin***
Sunday 29th October: Simm City, Vienna***
Monday 30th October: LKA Longhorn, Stuttgart***
Tuesday 31st October: Kino Siska, Ljubljana***
Thursday 2nd November: Cabaret Sauvage, Paris***
Friday 3rd November: Islington Assembly Hall, London***
Saturday 4th November: Effenaar, Eindhoven***
Sunday 5th November: Trix, Antwerp***
Monday 6th November: Batschkapp, Frankfurt Am Main***
Wednesday 8th November: Kesselhaus, Berlin***
Thursday 9th November: Backstage, Munich***
Friday 10th November: Hellraiser, Leipzig***
Sunday 12th November: Zeche, Bochum***
Saturday 25th November: De Groene Engel, Oss
Friday 1st December: De Vorstin, Hilversum
Saturday 2nd December: Volt, Sittard
Friday 8th December: Manifesto, Hoorn
Saturday 9th December: Bibelot, Dordrecht
Friday 15th December: Gigant, Apeldoorn
Saturday 16th December: Flux, Zaandam
Friday 22nd December: 't Beest, Goes
Saturday 23rd December: Het Bolwerk, Sneek
Friday 29th December: Atak, Enschede

* - with Marilyn Manson
** - with Iced Earth
*** - with Eluveitie and Amaranthe

'The Sick, Dumb & Happy' tracklist:
Down On The Ropes
No End In Sight
Blood And Salt
Corner Office Maniacs
The Future Needs Us Not
Silent War
The Hell In Me
Songs Of Obscenity
Break And Dominate

The Charm The Fury are:
Caroline Westendorp – Vocals
Rolf Perdok – Lead Guitar
Martijn Slegtenhorst – Rhythm Guitar
Lucas Arnoldussen – Bass Guitar
Mathijs Tieken – Drums

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