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Fiend - Onerous (Reissue) Award winner

Onerous (Reissue)
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 14 February 2020, 6:33 PM

FIEND is a Stoner/Doom Metal band from France.  “Onerous,” is actually their first full length, originally released in 2013, but has now been reissued.  Much like 2018’s “Seeress,” this is a solid slab of Stoner/Doom. “The Window,” is a short intro made up of clean guitar picking and some soft drumming.  There is a bit of a blues feel to it and it does a decent job of introducing the next track as it flows seamlessly into it.

The Broken Ships of Osiris,” begins immediately with a strong Stoner/Doom riff that is made up of groove and bluesy sweat.  Even within just a few minutes into the song, there is no doubt that Michel and vocalist Heitham know how to write a solid Doom riff.  The vocal cadence of Heith is catchy, the lyrics sticking into my head easily enough which isn’t always the case with Doom.

The Potion,” is made up of two very different parts.  The first half is a burner of a track—raucous drums. Tight bass rhythms, and a very energetic vocal display give the track a rock and roll feel to its Doom orientation—imagine a more Stoner version of CLUTCH or even older CORROSION OF CONFORMITY.   A thick cloud of atmospheric haze is injected about halfway thru the song and also acts a serviceable bridge to the heavier than hell part that follows the song through its conclusion.

The second part to “The Potion,” is a bit more methodical and its approach—and at almost thirteen minutes in length, it has plenty of time to display its myriad ways.  The beginning is a throwback of sorts to the middle portion of “The Potion Part 1.”  A SABBATH inspired riff, and buzzing bass, slowly creeps in, leading to a faster tempo about halfway thru.  Here, the drums join in and the band finds a jam style stride before more haze induced melody finds its way back to the fold.

The oddly titled, “Frankenstein You’re Fired,” is a short instrumental interlude that is very similar to the opener “The Window,” in style.  It doesn’t lead into the final track as well as the intro did but it is a nice breather. “Boabdil,” is easily the darkest and heaviest track on the album—the opening moments are definitely foreboding and ominous.  Slow, crushing riffs fill much of the song and even have a bit of a sludge vibe to them; the guitars are just a march of behemoths from which there is no escape.  FATS’ drumming across the track is quite clever and helped the song flow decent from its quieter moments to the abrasive Doom.  The last three minutes of the track are a Doom fan’s wet dream—thick riffs, throbbing bass, heavy handed drums, and a desire to crush all before them.

With two full lengths and an EP under their belt, FIEND continue to show they are a young Doom band that fans of the genre need to keep their eye on.  Now that their past has been cemented, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. The Window
2. The Broken Ships of Osiris
3. The Potion Part I
4. The Potion Part II
5. Frankenstein You’re Fired
6. Boabdil
Nicolas Zivkovich – Bass
Michel Bassin – Guitars
Heitham Al-Sayed – Guitars, Vocals
Fats - Drums
Record Label: Deadlight Records


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Edited 03 December 2022

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