This EP from East Anglian noise-makers Soviet Films breaks a period of relative silence from the band. It might only feature a quartet of tunes – on the surface, a small amount of new music for a two year wait – but ‘Four’ presents a more epic sounding band, enjoying a more adventurous approach to arrangement than before, if indeed that were possible. The featured material represents everything fans could want, and music with the ability to unnerve new listeners in the best possible way.
With every new album from The Fierce And The Dead, there have been changes to the band’s sound. The now classic ‘Spooky Action’ took the experimentation of their earlier ‘If It Carries On Like This, We’re Moving To Morecambe’ and added extra layers. On tunes like the title cut and the now classic ‘Ark’, the lighter guitar tones from Matt Stevens gave the material a quality that was pleasingly playful. A few years down the line, the band’s breakthrough album ‘The Euphoric’ was heavier in places, but in others, sounded more accessible and tuneful than The Fierce And The Dead had ever been before, without losing too much of their recognisable sound.
It took underground metal act Naisian five years to follow up their ‘Monocle’ release, but 2018’s ‘Rejoinder’ EP was an amazing disc. In three songs, the band explored a whole world of doom, sludge and angry sounds, often doing more in short four minute bursts than some bands manage over the course of a whole side of vinyl.
In 2022, Swedish post metal act Dimwind released what could only be described as a very ambitious recording. The fifteen minute ‘Window Passed’ was presented as half of a split release with black metallers Breaths, and basically acted like an effective CV. During its quarter of an hour, the track moved through heavy riffs in a post rock vein, teased with drone, and even exploded into passages of instrumental black metal. It should have been really challenging, but something within Dimwind’s soundtrack like state ensured that even their heaviest outbursts seemed very natural.
As a band, The Fierce And The Dead have never been shy of evolving. From their noisiest post rock origins, they slowly grew into a melodic juggernaut, mixing heavy grooves and progressive textures on their third album ‘The Euphoric’.
There’s growth and re-invention, and then there’s genre-fluid, which is certainly where the band found themselves during the writing and recording of their fourth LP. Fans got a taste of the “new” Fierce/Dead in May 2022 when the ‘Wonderful’ single appeared on Bandcamp and other streaming services. For the first time, the band shared something song-based with a strong vocal, and for many, that was the biggest change. However, things had also taken an unexpected turn musically with a world of post-punk riffs colliding with the prog-ish experimentation.