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Fervence – Ghost

by Joseph Brewer at 14 May 2020, 12:47 AM

Deftly toeing the line between heavy metal and prog, FERVENCE achieves a sound on their debut album “Ghost” that transcends music alone. Declaring themselves as alternative metal, their sound is characterized by a gentle, ambience driven prog that is constantly experimenting with sound and time. Founded in 2017, the members of FERVENCE are not newcomers to the scene. The band is comprised of members from other alternative/metal bands that came together with a common desire to address topics that are personal to them: life, afterlife, and everything in between. Hailing from different regions of the Western Coast of the United States, FERVENCE delivers an album that is teeming with complexity, harsh beauty, and ever-changing rhythms.

Ghost” kicks off with a track called “Beneath the Sleeping Earth.” The beginning is slow and deliberate, Trent Odneal on guitar carefully strumming a chord, each note plucked deliberately and allowed a moment to ring out. Austin Bently is right there with him, purring along to start the song. At around the one-minute mark, Josh Mathis on drums and Jon Daniels on bass drop in and kick the song into action with a resonant, double bass beat. Bentley then begins to sing, and you feel his voice right away; it is downright angelic. Throughout the album he soars, singing high and sweet, conveying beauty and anguish with ease. It’s a modern approach to alternative vocalists where the delivery is damn near perfect, cleaned in production with lots of layers added to create an effect of power and purity. And, to top it off, Bentley pulls double duty with his black metal screams that are dosed perfectly around the album for contrasting effect. Energetic, delicate, and driving, “Beneath the Sleeping Earth” is a terrific opening track for FERVENCE.

Corrosion” is next up and is another great track by FERVENCE. The chorus is much more haunting, Bentley now holding back his voice and using this restraint to deliver a more wistful effect. The instrumentation behind him is terrific. I want to highlight Mathis on drums specifically as his performance throughout the whole album is incredible. Alternative albums, like prog albums, always benefit from multiple listens to peel back the layers and intricacies. His ability to create a soft but driving emotion on the album comes through on every track. Mathis’s fills are creative and precise, happening in an unpredictable manner and adding noticeable little moments throughout each track.

After the short, soft track, “The Silent Wall,” the rest of the album carries on in the same manner as the first two tracks. While each song on its own is quite good, there is not a lot of diversity of sound. What I’ve noticed about alternative metal bands is that there is a conceptual focus on the sonic aspect of music. Traditional melodies and hooks are pushed aside in favor of vocal and instrumental combinations that are beautiful, complex, and intriguing. They embrace the prog ideals of changing time signatures and variable song compositions, and leverage that with a high production mindset to create music that provokes a myriad of images, ideas, and emotions in the listener. Each track is a mesmerizing, rhythmically pulsing event that inundates you with addicting noise and guides you through a vivid sonic landscape. I would highly recommend “Ghost” to any metalhead and look forward to seeing more from newcomer FERVENCE.

Favorite Songs: “Beneath the Sleeping Earth”, “Ghost

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Beneath the Sleeping Earth
2. Corrosion
3. The Silent Wall
4. Surrogate
5. Paxism
6. Ghost
7. The Endless Black I Find
Austin Bentley – Vocals
Trent Odneal – Guitar
Josh Mathis – Drums
Jon Daniels – Bass
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 28 May 2023

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