Thus far, 2008 seems to be the year of reincarnated or resurrected hardcore bands. Earlier this year, Advent was formed out of the remains of Beloved, while Living Sacrifice has (oh happy happy happy) returned and is touring with Demon Hunter, and now three founding members of Embodyment (does everyone remember Embodyment?) have formed The Famine: a fast, grindy, gritty metal band that brings a lot to the table.
Off the top, I can say that fans of Living Sacrifice, especially older LS like Inhabit or Reborn, and fans of Extol will probably appreciate The Raven and The Reaping. Familiar themes of war, redemption, forgiveness, struggle, and loneliness play about on each track. Guitars roar with that cat-in-a-blender-in-a-microwave-in-a-steel-keg-rolling-down-a-hill kind of distortion. There is some nice solo work on "Unending Silence," and drum-work is wicked fast with a relentless grind-core tinge on the whole album.
I can't say as there is a whole lot the separates The Famine from the pack, but this is a must-listen for metal fans that love (as I do) a band that never turns off the distortion pedals. Certainly the lyrics are worth listening to, and I certainly appreciate a band that keeps the sing-along parts to a minimum, and makes liberal use of the throbbing double bass.
This is not a modern metal album by any means. If you're into lots of breakdowns and mush-parts, and melodic emo parts, The Famine is definitely not the band for you. The Famine write smart, uncompromising, metal tracks like it's their job. While this certainly detracts from the unique standout parts that more artistic and melodic nu-metal bands are working with these days, The Raven and The Reaping stands firmly as a presentation of something new, while at the same time belonging to the annals of metal past.- Review date: 6/2/08, written by Sean Lex
Record Label: Tooth & Nail Records
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