Have a listen to: "Hammers", "Envision" and "Lost The Fight"
I Fight Bears – Self Titled
Release Date: 16th February
There has been a lot of noise coming from Wales over recent years; with some bands from that neck of the woods making quite an impact, cementing themselves a place on the alternative scene. The latest to test the metal waters are I Fight Bears, a metal core quintet who pull no punches when it comes to hammering out accomplished metal core with hints of tech thrown in for good measure.
The incoming self titled debut album will satisfy fans of Trivium‘s ‘Ascendancy‘ album, Killswitch Engage and other bands of that ilk, but in some ways this is also a bit of a downfall of the record as a whole. Don’t get me wrong, these guys are clearly accomplished musicians and the vocals are as visceral as you’d expect – switching from clean to scream with ease regularly – but it follows a tried and tested formula, its a little predictable and lyrically I found it pretty generic.
This isn’t to say that its a bad record. The opening trio of ‘Hammers‘, ‘Envision‘ and ‘Lost The Fight‘ are fast, brutal and accomplished with vocals being screamed straight to your face and a ferocity that any band would be proud of, all backed by a frantic double kick machine gun beat. There is no denying that I Fight Bears are tight as musicians and have clearly got a lot of ability to make good metal; it just all sounds a little like I’ve heard this all before.
Perhaps testament to the predictability of it is that all the tracks kind of blend into each other, although tracks like ‘Trust‘ and ‘Smoking Gun‘ do offer a little more than a majority of this record I do find myself losing interest halfway through.
It feels harsh to say this about a new band but lets focus on the positives here; they have only been a band for two years and have recorded a record that is very well written musically and delivered well enough. It doesn’t break new ground, but perhaps that’s a good thing for fans of the genre who long for this kind of sound – of course my view is entirely subjective and I’m sure many will disagree with me. I do feel like as a band they are finding their feet a little; I’ve lost count of the amount of debut albums that didn’t really hit the mark for me, only to see follow ups really deliver. I’m sure this will be the case with I Fight Bears and with experience and time we’ll see developments that will make people sit up and take more notice.
For now though I have to say that although this is by no means a bad record, it just doesn’t quite hit the mark for me, but hey, check it out and tell me where I’m wrong! That is after all, the beauty of music; we can all appreciate it in different ways.