Driven by passion, creativity and inspiration, Fissure of Riddles recently released their first debut album, Nemea. The quartet, originating from the shores of Dorset have extensively toured the UK since their becoming in December 2012. With two previously released EP’s under their belts, Fissure of Riddles have shared the stage with names such as The Lotus, Psycroptic and Kobra and have cemented themselves into the UK metal scene.
Nemea, released on January 20th, is a combination of talent and creativity that brings a fresh and new perspective to the metal genre. Describing themselves as melodic riff conjurers setting out to combine elements of progressive metal with southern and sludge, Fissure of Riddles have put themselves in the spotlight with their unusual take on the norm – and Nemea is the perfect exhibition to show off their style. There’s a lot to be admired about their most recent release, including the dark atmosphere that they introduce with the introductory track ‘Glacial Retention.’ It’s an early example of the eerie feeling that F.O.R can bring into a track, showing that their combined instrumental talents can really give depth to a song. They aren’t at a loss for energy though, as second track ‘Ignorance Is Blessed’ proves. The fast-paced track is anthemic and is almost Zeus-like in the sense of its epic sound. With heavy instrumentals and topped off with pugnacious vocals, each element combined compliments each other, letting the track fall perfectly into place. There is a lot to be said about the way the track shifts into changes, but easily shortened to a summary of brilliant breakdowns and guitar solos. Kudos to the finger muscles of bassist Dan Challinor and both guitarists, Matt Wyzzy and Mark Taylor.
At first glance, Fissure of Riddles aren’t scared about packing their songs full to the brim, with longest track ‘Flensing the Dragon’ running close to twelve and a half minutes long. While lengthy, it’s a track that doesn’t lack in intensity. With a lengthy intro, the drummer Lee Biles kicks the track into gear and takes on a classic metal-esque style – much like the ‘Drown Our Bilge’ style, with insane drum rhythm, heavy bass and heavy guitar riffs – but with sections perfectly falling into places and a steady rhythm (although, still very energetic.) This track is one that really brings out that melodic side, with heavy emphasis on the use of guitar layered over the top to really bring the track to life. The mood does switch though, keeping the long track fresh at every point. The way that vocalist Matt Wyzzy projects his voice in a variety of manners during one song is impressive, even more so the switch from antagonistic vocals to hypnagogic. Midway point of the song, it definitely feels like a Pink Floyd and Cradle of Filth love-child, offering a gothic surreality. In the best way, it’s a very intense track bringing ambience to their heavy style.
‘Scrumps’ is a song that carries on with that ambience, although brings the heavy element into the atmosphere created by their music. It’s a track that really shines for the drums throughout with Biles’ stand-out performance. Whereas ‘Paleozoic’ shows the depth that the bass has on the overall track, and how much an emphasised bassline can really add towards the aura surrounding it. All in all, at only fifth track in, Nemea is a hypnotic album – one that can’t be turned off midway. It’s the kind of album that sucks you in from the get-go. ‘Grid Your Lions’ brings a little turning point to the Nemea album, but despite the track lacking in run-time compared to its track-family, it’s a quiet marching kind of track. Almost like an intermission before the chaos kicks back off – and it sure does. The rhythm is the same, but the sound is escalated and amplified for ‘Edos’ where the intensity once again rises. The refreshing thing about F.O.R is their understanding that metal doesn’t have to be about fast-paced, insane playing style to get across to their listeners, but create atmospheres that bring to life each song. They use their talents in a variety of ways, instead of down-tuning everything to create that dark sound that the genre has become accustomed to – and F.O.R have still gained momentum through their touring. While ‘Hauling’ is the last track on the album, it certainly isn’t the last that F.O.R have to offer in terms of creativity. The band have an admirable knack of how to combine their talents in creative ways in order to convey their ideas. There is not one member that shines more than the other on Nemea, and that just proves how much chemistry F.O.R have together, and how their talents combined compliment each other.
Follow Fissure Of Riddles on Facebook and head over to BandCamp to get yourself a copy of Nemea OUT NOW