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InnerSiege – Fury Of Ages

InnerSiege
Fury Of Ages
by Alex Barnard at 16 September 2021, 6:29 PM

INNERSIEGE is a Melodic Power Metal from Peoria, IL. “Fury of Ages” is the group’s second album (and first in nearly a decade), released in the US by Qumran Records (No Dust Records in Europe) on June 11, 2021.

I’ve got to hand it to these folks: they’ve managed to make a Power Metal album that doesn't sound too cheesy. Perhaps it's the lack of silly Euro-trance keyboards, or perhaps it’s the incorporation of down-tuned guitars. Or, better yet, perhaps it’s the fact the riffs are actually really good! Where I think a lot of Power Metal bands fail is in their reliance on multiple instrumental layers to achieve a grand sound while letting the riffs go to the wayside. To me, a lot of Power Metal bands are the musical equivalent to the Star Wars prequel movies – too much focus on special effects rather than on plot and substance.

As I already mentioned, that is not the case here. Kev Grose and J.L. Prater’s riffs are heavy, pummelling, and at times thrashy (“World of Darkness”). Jeremy Ray’s lyrics are dark, a sharp contrast from the generally happy-sounding lyrics of most Power Metal. Consequently, his vocal style seems to reflect that darkness as well; while most of the time he sings with the same bravado as IRON MAIDEN’s Bruce Dickinson, on tracks like “Calling for Violence,” he also showcases some well-cultivated Black Metal growls. And of course, last but not least, Ravn Furfjord and Wade Helm comprise a tight rhythm section, playing off each other’s strengths brilliantly.

Some highlights from the track listing include “Reborn,” which, in addition to having a fantastic guitar solo, reminds me a lot of JUDAS PRIEST’s Tim “Ripper” Owens era – groovy yet unmistakably heavy (yes, I did just defend the “Ripper” era, get off my back!); “Echoes into Eternity,” which has a crushingly simple opening riff and some very powerful drumming from Helm; and “Iron Lotus,” an instrumental track that allows both guitarists to showcase their impeccable skills over some brilliant music. The one weak track on this album, in my opinion, is “Power. Metal. Glory.” Songs that are about the genre that they are written in served an important purpose in the 80s when the delineations between Metal sub-genres were just starting to become clear. But it’s 2021 – we all know what Power Metal sounds like. Plus, the lyrics aren’t really on par with the rest of the album; Ray singing about how he was mocked for his musical tastes just sounds like an invitation for more ridicule.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with this album! I do think the mix could use a little work, as the guitars didn’t really sound distorted enough for my tastes and Ray’s vocals are a little too loud compared to the rest of the layers. Regardless, bravo to INNERSIEGE, and here’s hoping the wait between this album and the next one isn’t quite as long as last time.

Songwriting: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 5
Musicianship: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Calling For Violence
2. Reborn
3. FireWind
4. Virtuous Iniquity
5. Echoes Into Eternity
6. World Of Darkness
7. Power. Metal. Glory.
8. Iron Lotus
9. Stronghold
10. Hero
11. World On Fire
Lineup:
Jeremy Ray – Vocals
Kev Grose – Guitars
J.L. Prater – Guitars
Ravn Furfjord – Bass
Wade Helm – Drums
Record Label: Qumran Records
     


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