Ferium Behind The Black Eyes Cover 2016No matter what path of life you decide to traverse, there will be one unquestionable truth that everyone, at some point of their lives, will discover on their own, and that is the soul-crushing pain that comes with the ending of a relationship. Plainly put, break-ups fucking suck. Whether it’s cutting ties with family, permanently distancing yourself from certain friends, or having your significant other rip your heart out of your chest, pour lighter fluid all over it, set it aflame, stomp it to the ground, and then giggle maniacally as he/she walks away, that queasy, bile-generating, heartburn-inducing, tear-flowing anguish you feel is akin to having a jellyfish thrown right at your heart. So you would figure that an album dedicated to a broken relationship would be excellent fodder for a metal band, yes? Israel’s Ferium is tackling that most touchy of subjects with their second full-length, Behind the Black Eyes. That poor, poor dude on the front cover…

“Aftermath” opens up with a distorted arpeggio, some moderately heavy drums, and the barked vocals of Tiran Ezra, and immediately becomes a breakdown-heavy recollection of early 2000’s American deathcore. Mind you, I don’t mind a little Job For a Cowboy or the occasional Suicide Silence, but both bands have since moved on from their more humble beginnings to expand and grow in more interesting directions, whereas Ferium plays it safe with open-E chugs, staccato kick drums, and deep growls that go deeper during breakdowns. At least Ezra varies his delivery a little bit, adding some much-needed variety when he hits a more mid-range scream.

The good news is that Ferium do pepper interesting ideas throughout Behind the Black Eyes. The technical-infused sweep section near the end of “Power is All That Matters” hints at what the band could achieve in the future. Instrumental “She Feels Like Home” is both beautiful in its melody and intriguing in its complicated rhythmic backbone. Closer “A Free Man” stands out not just because of its over-seven-minute length, but due to its atmosphere, clever build-up, and the more conservative sprinkling of breakdowns throughout. It’s little glimpses like these that will propel the band further along in the future. It also doesn’t hurt that the album sounds pretty good on a production level, considering the amount of heft given to the guitars and bass.

Ferium Band 2016
The bad news? The song placement isn’t the best. Unless you’re Russian Circles, it’s never a good idea to follow an instrumental (“She Feels Like Home”) with what is essentially another instrumental (the short speech “Seven Years of Seven Levels of Hell”), especially when the latter song is just a voice that says “She feels like home…” over and over again, with other voices adding little speeches here and there. But the biggest concern is the songwriting itself. With the exceptions above, this is paint-by-numbers early deathcore, but the talent is definitely there to move beyond that box into something far greater.

Ferium, with some work, can definitely hang with the best of them if they just keep at it. Sadly, for the amount of heartbreak that went into Behind the Black Eyes, it’s just as heartbreaking to have to say that they’re not quite where they want to be yet, and this album reflects that with the same clarity as the eyeballs of the rhino spearing that poor, poor dude on the front cover. Hold out for the next one.

 


Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 256 kbps mp3
Label: Unsigned/Independent
Websites: feriumband.com | ferium.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/FeriumIsrael
Releases Worldwide: April 21st, 2016

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  • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

    The fact that these guys wrote a deathcore record about breaking up leads to the inescapable conclusion that our two (ex) lovebirds met on MySpace, probably forming a real connection discussing how sick the “Entombment of a Machine” squeal and chug bit is.

    • Nag Dammit

      Perhaps their relationship broke down before they broke up? Hence the symbolic use of ‘the breakdown’ throughout the record? Or are they cleverly interspersing breakdowns in places in the ‘narrative’ where the person going through the breakup, literally breakdown?

      Whatever it is (most probably neither of the above) writing a metal album about a breakup, seems to lead to a lot of breakdowns. Maybe writing about standard metal fare (Satan, hell, ice, insanity, dismemberment, guts and goats) will balance out the breakdown to song ratio?

      • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

        It’s like a weird semantic association. “This shit is going to get broken down just like my heart, get in the pit! Brutal!”
        The big exception would be Deicide’s “Til Death Do Us Part” which was entirely about Benton’s divorce, but I suppose Deicide writing anything but a Deicide record is basically unthinkable. Also, I like how all of the standard metal fare minus ice is basically the lyrics to every Belphegor song ever.

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          Here is where I throw the horns up and yell “HELL YEAH!!! BELPHEGORRRRR!” right?

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            And get the “Bondage Goat Zombie” chorus stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Here is where I throw the horns up, make a grimace and yell “VENERATIO DIABOLI!!!!”

  • I mean, isn’t the great thing about metal is that even when we have the love songs or the ‘love songs’, they’re less blatant, instead poetic or eerie? Or at least epic and overblown? This is just please don’t and also the music is Not Nice.

    • Grymm

      Also, the last time an album centered around a break-up happened was with Enabler’s Fail to Feel Safe, and… yeeeeeeaaaah.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    I’m curious: has anyone written a record about meeting someone, then falling in love and starting a relationship, and ending on a happy note? Would that just be too… happy? Too Disney? Seriously, I wonder how one could sustain it over the length of an album, ending things on a non-bitter note rather than going for a typical “love – love troubles – end of relationship” story arc.

    • Bart the Repairman

      My guess is that many have tried, but their efforts always ended up being reggae albums.

      • Monsterth Goatom

        Ha! That’s a good one. Yea, probably.

    • [not a Dr]

      King Diamond: Abigail
      Jonathan and Myriam go through some rough patches but, in the end, their love and complicity stall the second coming of the Devil in disguise long enough for the 7 Black Horsemen to get their undead asses to our mortal plane and temporarily take care of business a second time.

      • [not a Dr]

        Also, there is a love story arc between Them and Conspiracy: the Doctor and King’s mother have to put up with a troublemaker that’s clearly gone insane, talking to spirits as his grandmother did. Despite everything he puts them through, love triumphs in the end.

        • Tofu muncher

          Don’t. Stop. Just don’t.

          • [not a Dr]

            Don’t stop? As you wish…
            The Gentle Storm did an album about love that transcends death. It’s called The Diary. The Storm version is metal enough for me.

      • Monsterth Goatom

        Wow.

        • [not a Dr]

          Since your question renewed my unhealthy obsession with that album, I’m now relistening to it from this new angle I’d never suspected before.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        If there is an award for Metal Nerds, you deserve it. And I say it in the best possible way.

      • Tofu muncher

        Lavatory Love Machine is an important song JSYK.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Relationships never end on a happy note… take for example marriage: it either ends on death or divorce. If the relationship ends, basically it’s because things went wrong somewhere.
      Oh, and I might be wrong and I might have to read the rule book again, but it might be against Metal Law to mention Disney in a Metal rant.

      • Monsterth Goatom

        Disney!….Disney Disney Disney! Plus John Denver!
        [Exit, pursued by a bear]

  • Diego Molero

    What’s the deal with rinhos on metal covers?

    • [not a Dr]

      They are extreme unicorns

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        Would someone please get this comment and answer featued?

  • Blueberry Balls

    Ugh, this is hogwash.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Go over to that Allfather review, your presence is required.