Fister - _Gemini_
(Independent, 2013)
by: Dan Lake (8.5 out of 10)
Omigod, I love Fister. It wasn't until after writing the bulk of this review that I dug more deeply into their online presence. They've been around for a little while, launching a few EPs last year and a full-length and split the year before that. Most endearing, though, is a slogan that made its way into their logo: "If it's too slow, you're too young." I need that bumper sticker, or maybe I'll just get it tatted across my face.

There's nothing like some throat-scarring, mike-maxed vocal distortion to feel like your soul and entrails are splitting open from the inside. The agony buried in those lung-raping roars never fails to terrify. Fister's Marcus Newstead excels at scraping these tortured howls out of an inflamed diaphragm, and the band gives him the perfect bed of nails to hang them on.

_Gemini_ lives in grimy pits of caustic sludge doom, which would still be great if it only ever sloshed against those gruesome walls for its entire 45-minute run. Somehow, though, the Missouri crew find the space in all that claustrophobic crush to inject some triumphant major half-melodies, resulting in a multidimensional hair-tearing, face-gouging episode. The sound here is absolutely massive; it's easy to get lost in the thick, scalding folds of these songs. Highly recommended if you think that death metal is too straightforward, most doom is too cutesy, and depressive black metal is just too life-affirming. Also recommended: bathing in steel wool and drinking shattered-glass milkshakes.

Bottom line: don't waste your time on dreamscapes and woodland fairies. This shit kills. Over and over again.


(article published 30/6/2013)

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