Negative Assets is a student-produced literary magazine based out of southern California.

Feared's "Synder." Reviewed by Luis Balderrama.

Feared_Snyder "Synder" seems to be more of an experimental album for Feared, as they step out of the box with clean piano sections, clean vocals, and much more clean-guitar melodies mixed in with their amazing death metal writing. It almost seems as if they had a check list of styles that they wanted to play on this album. Black Metal, Death Metal, Progressive, Rock, etc...

It never ceases to amaze me how creative Ola’s guitar riffs and melodies are. He’s just got such a tight hold on such a huge and heavy sound, but is still able to incorporate crisp blast beats, neck breaking breakdowns, clean and tight rhythmic riffs, clean guitar melodies mixed in with an almost Opeth - progressive quality it has.

“Of Iron and Ashes” has this abrupt change from heavy blast beat and death metal vocals to clean guitar, which gives such an eerie vibe. It really catches you off guard. At first, the change almost seemed like some sort of editing glitch, but the more I listened to it, the more it felt in place. It’s that clarity you get before delving back into the insanity of the piece. It’s a great change up.

“Dygder” is the first real introduction to this new type of sound with its creepy piano and melodramatic tonality. It’s a great break from the heavy and chunky sound Feared is known for, and it’s a great lead into “By Silent Screaming.” It sets you up for that driving rhythm of the guitars and bass drum working together. I cannot overemphasize how precise Feared is when it comes to full-band rhythm synchronization. You can tell they take a lot of pride in that ability and use it well.

“War Feeding War” is a solid piece that really shows off Kevin Talley’s drum abilities. Not that the other songs don’t, but this song brings such a wide variety. The solo in the middle is small, but again, it’s the contrast to the rest of the piece that somehow makes the rest of the song valid. Both Ola and Kevin really shine on this piece. I also enjoy the ending blend into the next song, “The Narcissist.” This song brings forth the band’s amazing ability to nail some solid black metal style music and mix it with some serious thrash metal. The dissonance from the chords puts you in that disjointed mindset. It’s a great blend of death metal chunk, clean piano, tremolo melodies, and black metal dissonance.

Overall, Synder is a great album. It showed how flexible Ola’s musical abilities are. Previous albums touched on different styles, but this was an obvious charge to take on different styles of music. I very much enjoy Feared’s ability to create heavy death metal riffs, but I hope they continue to do so. Although I like the new musical influences in Synder, I hope they do not lose that heavy-ness they’ve always brought to the table.

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