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Fiend - Seeress

by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 07 January 2019, 6:12 AM

FIEND are a French Stoner/Doom Metal band; having previously released an EP and a full length, “Seeress” is their third release overall.  Their sound is rooted in old school Doom but it is way darker and heavier than Traditional Doom.    However, it darkness shines through with a focus on instrumentation rather than a Gothic or Funereal Doom atmosphere, which is something I appreciated because it keeps the album riff based but still gritty enough for even the most jaded of listeners.

The opening track, “Morning Star,” is highlighted by some ambient sounds and static before an ominous tone creeps up from the bank.  The song quickly explodes into Renaud's cascading drums and a heavy sick riff from Michel and Heitham.  The song is dense as a black hole and heavy as a planet; the vocals from Heitham compliment the song in a combination of singing/shouting.  Nicolas' bass really lays down a low end, a thumping and thunderous foundation that often time shook my headphones to the core.

Ancestral Moon,” has a riff with so much groove, you’ll be banging our head for days.  This song is very BLACK SABBATH in feel but it is just so much heavier.  The vocals here are a bit more along the lines of Stoner Metal, and again, they just go very well with the music. Heitham really knows how to find the rhythm not only with the guitars but with his vocal approach as well.  The quiet part between 3:16 and 4:01 accented the song with an almost foreign sound and highlights the bass.  The rest of the song is rather chaotic as the band just lays it all out and finishes strongly.  Who say Doom Metal can’t be a bulldozer?

5th Circuits,” is a raucous track with fervor and energy leading the way.  The riffs are numerous, catchy, and will no doubt cause whiplash.  This song is just a straight up barn burner and that isn’t something that can be easily said with a lot of Doom.  Once again, Renaud and Nicolas really show their skills in the middle part of the song, both of them seem to be dueling each other, trying to determine who is more badass. The last track, “The Gates,” is a very odd track that stuffs in a lot of ideas.  Spoken word recordings, weird synth/keyboard noises, and even some vocal chanting find their way into the nearly 14 minute long track.   It is definitely a unique sound and, overall, it still fits in with the rest of the album and its placement at the end was a smart idea.

With “Seeress,” FIEND have crafted a really song Doom record and I’m really looking forward to what they band can do in the future.  Doom has been on an upswing in the last couple years ago and albums like this only add to it.

Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Morning Star
2. Ancestral Moon
3. Pillars
4. Vessels
5. 5th Circuits
6. A Crown Of Birds
7. The Gates
Nicolas Zivkovich – Bass, Keyboards
Renaud Lemaitre – Drums
Michel Bassin – Guitars, Synth
Heitham Al – Sayed – Guitars, Vocals
Record Label: Deadlight Entertainment


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