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Solid death metal album - 73%

jugchord07, May 22nd, 2010

Fearer is a death metal band that formed in 1995. They released their last full length in 2005 and then called it quits because they couldn't find a dedicated drummer. They never garnered much attention within the death metal community. The band manages to incorporate melody into their formula while maintaining a crushing sound. Throughout the album two vocal styles are used, highs and lows. Thomas Zorn's highs sound almost identical to John Tardy's trademark sound, it almost seems like Tardy came in the studio with them and layed down a few lines that they peppered in throughout the Descent. While Zorn's range may not be mindblowing he gives an electric performance and delivers with a great deal of consistence until the record stops spinning.

The guitarwork on the album is simple but interesting to say the least. The tempo changes are very well done and the melodies aren't overdone. Fearer has two gears on Descent, essentially fast tremelo picking and chunky riffs are what consist as the bulk of the album. The band never allows any cooling off time and pummels you from beginning to end. Some excellent solos are thrown in here and there, they are short but sweet and remain very cohesive with the song.

That being said towards the end the album does tend to drag in places. This could've been avoided if Fearer would have experimented more with their song structures. For the most part they do stick to a very similar structure, this could be forgiven if the band was just starting out and not wanting to leave their comfort zone, but when considering the band had eight years of experience when the album was recorded it may begin to seem like they don't plan on changing up their formula that has some minor flaws. Once again a death metal band chooses to drown the bass player out of the mix. The peer pressure gets them everytime, but not to worry considering how chunky the riffs are and the thick sound the band already has the lack of bass doesn't take too much away from the sound of the album.

If you are looking for blastbeats this album might just be the perfect piece to your puzzle. The blasting is plentiful and fits the music well. While there could have been a bit more variation in the drum patterns it doesn't take much away from the overall sound of the album. The production is executed with a certain amount of perfection that isn't often heard on unknown death metal records. Sure overall Fearer doesn't do anything groundbreaking on Descent, but they do churn out a quality slab of death metal that deserves more attention than it receives (which is virtually none). Overall Descent gets a 3.5 out of 5, this album isn't something you are going to want to listen to in its entirety everyday but it is very effective in small doses. Recommended for fans of death metal that doesn't turn you into a gay.

The Pinnacle of Fearer - 95%

Angry_Malmsteen, February 8th, 2007

This was the first Fearer CD I bought. I liked it so much that I bought Confession to Hate and Backfire. I was a bit let down because I compared them with "Descent". Easily said, this is their best album. Everything else they released sounds derivitive of this album.

This album has the standard death metal intro track then the album starts. First song is the title track and I could tell I would love this CD the first few seconds I ever listened to it. Fearer is a no-bullshit, straight-up death metal band. Nothing fancy, just simple and effective.

The riffs and production alone make this album worthy of listening. The riffs are the backbone of this album. They are full of tremelo picking, palm mutes, and melody. Just when you think all the good riffs have already been written, you discover a band that manages to come up with something that doesn't exactly sound the same. Fearer hit the nail on the head with the songwriting. There isn't a single bad song here. Sure you might get a little impatient towards the end because all their isn't a wide variation in the music or the dyncamics. The vocals also kick major ass. Tom Zorn adds a lot to the album. The timbre of his voice is very distinctive and it reinforces my opinion of this album. There are plenty of shouts and growls, but no "singing". The interaction between the vocals and the guitars is enormous. The chorus to "level of violence" is a prime example of why the album rules. You just have to hear it. Drums are impressive as well. Fearer broke up because they couldn't find a drummer. That means either there aren't many good drummers in Germany, or their music is very demanding and hard to play. I commend Alfie for what he brings to the table. Also there is a Massacre cover at the end. I haven't heard the original but Fearer do a good job with it.

This is a very uniform album. Fearer use only 2 dynamics: Heavy and faster. You could say this album is similar to Kataklysm's "Serenity in Fire" with all the hyperblast drumming, machine-gun snare, and catchy riffing.

It seems as though Fearer has written the same song 10 different times and this album was the final result. Not to say that's bad because each song does sound good. So if you like that one song, you like them all. I'm just trying to get across that this record is very uniform and some might find it boring. There is absolutey 0 clean guitar on here, this CD is a relentless onslaught of sonic aggression.