I’m no wine buff but if I ever feel the urge to get rat-arsed in an upper class, debonair sort of way, I usually plump for a bottle of something French. Why? Well, when it comes to the old grape juice, Pierre just seems to know his stuff. Wine is one of those products that carries with it a particular weight of expectation according to the country or region of the world from which it originates, and in this respect music is not all that different. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past three decades, you’ll no doubt be aware that if writing music to scare small children with were an Olympic sport, the Scandinavians would be reigning world champions. When I elected to review the eponymous debut album of Norway’s Fight the Fight, therefore, it was on the basis of no background research whatsoever, other than a cursory glance at their country of origin. Shoot me down in flames; it had been a long day.

Although Fight the Fight is their debut LP, the band have existed in one form or another for over a decade. Previously playing under the name Faenskap (something Google Translate solemnly insists means “fuck cabinet,” although I have doubts as to the veracity of this translation), the Oslo-based five-piece are a fairly straight up metalcore outfit. Now while I’m well aware the suffix “core” can induce a strong urge to throw oneself out of an upstairs window, the highlight of the band’s career thus far involved touring Europe in support of Satyricon, so surely they can’t be all bad, right?

Well, to be brutally honest, they aren’t great. Being a glass-half-full kind of guy, though, let’s start with a positive: at least the record sounds nice. Granted, the dynamic range is a bit naff, but as a complete production, it’s full-blooded and meaty. Where it flops, though, is in the quality of the songwriting on offer. While opening tracks “Fight the Fight” and “The Edge” are perfectly enjoyable, albeit in a simplistic kind of way, aside from the satisfyingly headbangable verse sections of “Patient Zero,” there is very little else that sticks in the memory or provides the listener with any real impetus to return to the record in the future.

Fight the Fight 2017
Metalcore is a much-maligned genre—I doubt anyone on here really needs me to point this out—but when it’s executed well it can be both fun and fulfilling. When one considers the bands that sit atop the genre’s food chain, however, they all have three things in common: they showcase quality musicianship, their songwriting and composition are engaging and their records are memorable and enduring. None of these can really be said to apply in the case of Fight the Fight. While individual band members are perfectly competent when it comes to fulfilling the requirements of their respective roles—three and four note riffs are par for the course here—at no point are their skills ever enough to make the listener’s jaw hit the floor. When coupled with a vocal performance from frontman Lars Vegas that feels more like a recital than anything overtly rousing or primal, my overriding impression of Fight the Fight is an album written for radio airplay. I may be wide of the mark and doing the band a huge disservice here, but that’s the kind of vibe it gives off, and this doesn’t sit well with me at all; it lends the record a vapid, artificial air that is simply impossible to get around.

When it all boils down to it, the highest praise I can really accord Fight the Fight’s debut LP is that it is not actively objectionable, however, it rarely achieves anything that hasn’t already been done a hundred times better by metalcore’s elite crowd. Were it all I was permitted to listen to for the rest of 2017, I would hardly be gouging my eardrums out with a corkscrew, but I would be pretty dejected all the same. Everything that makes music so wondrously life-affirming—be it the passion, the innovation, the skill or simply the sheer cathartic joy it can invoke—is conspicuously absent here, and I don’t know about anyone else, but to me that just seems a little bit sad.


Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 160 kbps mp3
Label: Indie Recordings
Website: facebook.com/Fightthefightband
Releases Worldwide: January 27th, 2017

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  • Grymm

    …the fuck did I just listen to?!

    • Grymm

      Also, when did Wes Borland quit Limp Bizkit to be this band’s drummer?!

      • Dr. Wvrm

        Did he just get out of a mud bath?

        • Grymm

          I think he mugged Jeff Hardy.

          • Dr. Wvrm

            Holy shit are those tats?

          • Grymm

            I just browsed their FB page, and all signs point to “body paint”.

            Unless he got them in a ridiculously short amount of time, which is possible (if not absolutely insane).

    • Lord Lucan

      You have the AMG overlords to thank for this; it was listed as black metal on the promo sheet. Derp!

      • Grymm

        The upcoming Diablerie album was also listed as “industrial black metal”, which usually screams “ANAAL NATHRAKH!!!”, and well…

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        “So, this came from Norway? It must be Black Metal”

        • Lord Lucan

          Black metal and fjords, that’s all there is in Norway as far as I’m aware.

  • Dr. Wvrm

    I’m glad we’ve finally graduated from Verb the Noun to Verb the Verb. Things were starting to get stale.

    • Kronos

      Actually it’s noun the noun. Or is it noun the verb? Maybe it really is verb the noun.

      • hubcapiv

        It really does take it to the next level. Verb/Noun the Verb/Noun…it’s everything all at once.

        Also IMO “Lars Vegas” is a pretty good moniker. Just on the right side of that fine line between clever and stupid.

        Shame about the music, though…

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          Viva Lars Vegas? I don’t think so…

    • sir_c

      uh? this is Verb the Noun methinks. So it’s stale indeed

      • Dr. Wvrm

        Verb the Noun That Is the Same As the Verb. It’s the infinite loop of band name conventions.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        Grammar police sir_c is right!

  • hallowed

    Why do they have their heads photoshopped on some random bodies?

    • Reese Burns

      The one on the far-right looks like Dani Filth sans makeup.

      • Grymm

        Oh, there’s make-up, but it’s everywhere except on his face.

    • LExpoZiod

      I’d say they need unicorning but it looks like the dude in the middle already has it covered.

  • Wilhelm

    I went about ten seconds and decided this was douche core.

  • sir_c

    You gotta fight… for your right..
    oh wait, wrong party.

  • Reese Burns

    I thought we moved past music this openly douche when we washed our hands of Limp Bizkit and their ilk. It’s a shame to see I was wrong.

    • Lord Lucan

      Douchecore is still alive and kicking. If you don’t believe me then take a trip to your local rock or metal club on a Friday evening. If your locale is akin to mine then it’ll be floppy haircuts and throat tattoos galore. It’s a desperate state of affairs I tell you.

  • Grymm

    “You’re only human/Now what the fuck am I supposed to do?!”

    What does that even MEAN?! I can’t even picture what was going through their heads when writing that.

    “Oh! You’re human! GREAT! Now what?!”

    Just… HUH?

    • Lord Lucan

      I was going to berate them for their crappy lyrics (believe it or not, the embedded track is actually one of the stronger ones in this regard) but, alas, the word-count monster snuck up and drop kicked me in the balls.

      • Grymm

        It is? Oh dear…

        • Lord Lucan

          Genuinely. This is prosaic compared with what follows afterwards.

    • manimal

      That lyrics is perfectly valid. I prefer cats above humans.

      • Grymm

        …but I’m both!

        • Dr. Scorpion

          Does that mean you are above yourself ? Or under yourself?

          • Hulksteraus

            He’s Schroedingers cat, neither alive or dead until we open the box to see…

    • brklyner

      I bet he got the “Now what the fuck am I supposed to do?” straight from Dillinger and just had to fit it in somehow. Pretty, pretty, pretty bad.

  • Thatguy

    Oh, dear. I hope I haven’t pissed off the Penguin too much. We need him now.

    • [not a Dr]

      What is the output of your Band Picture Analysis?

      • Thatguy

        Bunch of dorks – 1.0 to 1.5.

        And this sounds worse than they look. People can’t help being dorks, but they made this music on purpose.

        • Reese Burns

          This was a good review, but I think you just summed this whole thing up better than anyone.

          • Thatguy

            I try.

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          “People can’t help being dorks, but they made this music on purpose” should replace that “How can less be more? That’s impossible!” bit under the website title.

          • Thatguy

            That would be cool!

      • basenjibrian

        A mohawk is at least a bit better than a man bun.

        • Lord Lucan

          Cancer is better than a man bun.

          • Reese Burns

            I thought they were one and the same?

  • Diego Molero

    This is so, so bad. 2.0 seems very generous judging by the embedded track.

    • Lord Lucan

      Granted it has very few redeeming features but I don’t find it actively objectionable, just utterly mediocre. I’ve heard far worse though.

      • Diego Molero

        Fair enough. And don’t get me wrong, great review!

        • Lord Lucan

          Thank you good sir. I do suspect this might be one of my reviews I’ll look back on half a year from now and think “I really gave it that score?!” Only time will tell. In the meantime, metalcore party!

  • Treble Yell

    I was *this* close to choosing this from the promo list when it appeared. So, so glad that I passed.

    • Reese Burns

      Based on the cover, I thought we were in for some Mutoid Man-esque goodness, or even Beaten to Death style grind, but alas, t’was not but Douchecore.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    The embedded track sounds like skipping radio stations… It’s got some nice ideas for like 4 or 5 different songs if each nice idea was fully developed and fleshed out. Instead they’re all stitched together into a whole mess that doesn’t make sense.
    Nice guitar solos, too.

    • basenjibrian

      Damn. This comment nails it. The random pieces are not even necessarily that bad but it is so random.

  • FutureBeyondSatan

    Is this Odell Beckham Jr.’s shitty Pro tools-core band from Miami?

  • Mephisto

    What is it with these vids with bands ‘rocking’ in slow motion, screaming we are as trve as a washing powder commercial (also see As Lions).

  • Berit Dogg

    The concept of “fuck cabinet” is indeed unknown to us Scandinavians. Sadly.

  • JJnetZach

    “faen” = general swearword
    “skåp” = locker, cabinet
    But “faenskap” = “piece of shit”
    Great review, I will NOT give this album a listen.

    • Lord Lucan

      Thank you, you done learned me my first Norwegian!

  • Oscar Albretsen

    The album cover looks like it’s the work of some 60’s psychedelic/hippy band. The Zombies or the Byrds or something…

  • Joshua Walker

    This is not very good. And the drummer’s head doesn’t really match the rest of his body. Anybody else notice that?

  • Gunn P

    I agree. I loved them as Oslo faenskap. That was good shit. This is pop metal and it made me sad. They want it. But they really don’t have it.