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May 26, 2024

Fear Absolute "Apprehension" Reviews

Fear Absolute - Apprehension
Discorporate Music (2003)

When you live in a world where a lack of originality is rewarded with a million dollar record contract, it is always refreshing to come across a band that plays and makes music that is straight from the heart. As cliché as that may sound, this is exactly how I would describe Canadian based Progressive Death Metallers FEAR ABSOLUTE. Originally formed in July of 1998, the band is now comprised of Dale Lyons on lead and rhythm guitars, Dan Rogers on drums and Rick Daigle on bass (though the bass on this album was performed by Chris Mercer, as Rick joined the band after its recording). While the band's humble beginnings and current location may lead one to believe that they are destined to remain local and nothing more, the quality of material on this, their now second release "Apprehension" ("The Truth" being their demo) will most certainly silence any with the gall to assert the aforementioned.

With seven songs and a running time of nearly an hour, it should slowly become obvious that these guys are not here with a run-of-the-mill collection of songs. Carefully crafted and composed, the songs found on this album more than succeed in demonstrating the talent possessed by each of the band members. Beginning in a steady manner, only to quickly pick up the pace, opening title-track "Apprehension" perfectly sets the tone for the remainder the album. Complete with countless time changes, accessible riffing, menacing vocals and stellar drum work, it is easy to hear the "...And Justice For All" era METALLICA influences on this excellent track. The succeeding "Dreamland" then moves the album along in just as promising a manner as the opening track did (which is no small feat). From it's base over drum intro to it's guitar solo over blast beat conclusion, this song leaves very little to be desired; which leads us to the 13+ minute monster "The One You Hate". With a nice intro featuring Jon Schaffer-esque riffing (ICED EARTH), this song chugs along quite nicely with enough twists and turns (such as an unexpected, yet effective clean guitar break) to keep your attention for its duration.

With "All That I Had", frontman Lyons wastes no time in reminding the listener of his vocal abilities. Through the use of some clean guitars and spoken words, this song continues to maintain your attention just as the songs preceding it did. I could go on and on.....so I will. Just like "Dreamland", "Forgotten" utilizes the drum and bass to create the perfect backdrop as Lyons continues his emotional vocal performance. While one may think that they've figured out FEAR ABSOLUTE at this point, "What Has It Given You" then causes you to think again. I'll let you listen for yourselves. Considering the way the track preceding it went, album closer "Absolution" begins in a completely contrasting manner, which renders it even more enjoyable (to these ears). Clocking in at over 10+ minutes, this track brings to close an extremely professional release composed and performed by individuals who can only be described as seasoned musicians.

Lyrically, Apprehension utilizes human experiences and emotions as inspiration with great success. Such content on an album is quite refreshing as one can truly understand (and maybe even relate) with the songwriter. I will not lyrically analyse any of these songs however, as attempting to decipher their meanings bring greater enjoyment to this insightful record.

While traditional Death Metal fans may become frustrated at the progressive nature of the music, those seeking just that will definitely find something here to provoke thought, uncontrollable headbanging or both. As with any record of merit, Apprehension needs time to be appreciated, for without time, this album's complexity will not fully be done justice. All I have left to say is that I urge any of you who call yourself a Metalhead to go to this band's website with an open mind and open ears. You will surely be rewarded.

- Nathanael, Metal Observer

Fear Absolute - Apprehension
Discorporate Music (2003)

Out of the slowly evolving Maritime scene comes Fear Absolute, who are front-runners of Canada's East Coast metal experience if you ask me. Having not had a label release any of their music until now (they released 2001's debut The Truth by themselves), album number two is finally out and is wowing critics all over. And am I going to treat this any differently? Hell no!

You have to love the challenge put forth from a progressive death band. Putting out a cd with 7 songs that clocks in at just under an hour. The hope is that they will try something fresh and not follow a standard formula of Schuldiner worship. Now although you can hear the influence of the metal legend on this album, it's obvious that the band is taking their own steps forward in achieving a multi-layered prog/death/thrash sound.

Finding both heavy and melodic guitars from frontman Dale Lyons, intense and fevered drumming from Dan Rogers, and lush and punchy bass lines from studio musician Chris Mercer, it's obvious that time has been taken with the recording process (which is produced masterfully), and they're in no rush to crank out every idea they have on this album. They're probably just happy to let their future albums develop their talent and experience, and hopefully it will translate into an even more flourishing sound.

- L. Savage, UNRESTRAINED! Mag

Fear Absolute - Apprehension
Discorporate Music (2003)

Only 7 songs, but guess what? The entire cd lasts for almost an hour. Highly enjoyable technical music is shed upon us. Fear Absolute is one of those bands that just gets under your skin and crawls up to your spine, to rest for a minute and strike at full force. They have the unique gift to blend in death metal, with fragile touch of very slow melancholic music. Melodic, and then the tragic grunts come in. Damn, i've listened to this cd for 6-7 times now, and it still gives me goosebumps all over my body. This is music, this is emotion and damn i'm very hooked to it right now. You can compare them to Belgian Prejudice i think, they have an own face and seem to know exactly what they want. While Prejudice evolves into a more brutal band, this one creates a stunning emotional atmosphere and just ... don't know, too difficult to put in words. It's got all the things it needs to be a very strong cd. I'd defenitely dig this one live. Please come over to Belgium guys!!!!!

- Thomas Lepouttre, FishComCollective.net

Fear Absolute - Apprehension
Discorporate Music (2003)

Fear Absolute is absolutely an original death metal band. At the same time it is unleashing a lovely lashing of death metal music to make us metal fans happy, it is doing so in a unique way. Sure, FA spends time doing the speedy double bass kick your ass hard fast death metal thing, but a lot of their music plays with funky grooves. And I don't mean funky as in the music style funk. I just mean funky. Off-kilter groove progressions bop along in a way that reminds of some of Prong's weird rhythms. For me, this just adds to the bands appeal. No matter where they are in a song, they're doing something cool. Either they're pummeling ahead with full force death metal or their chugging you along with their own unique set of grooves. Overlaying all of this is groovy death vocals that can be deciphered without a lyric sheet. That I like (not that I don't like chaotic non-understandable stuff too). The vocals are raspy, throaty and raw, like death metal, but the message comes through fine. Death metal fans that want a change of pace, look no further.

- Kristopher Upjohn, FishComCollective.net

Fear Absolute - Apprehension
Discorporate Music (2003)

Those who have listened to bands released by Canadian Discorporate Music are used to the fact that this small label always finds bands who play music that is difficult to understand. You have to listen to it at least 15 times before you know what the hell is going on in their music. This was indeed the case with Fear Absolute's album which was released this past July. It took me a long time to understand what their album is about, and I still have no clue what kind of music they play. Not because it's so original but simply because it is impossible to describe in a few words. Sometimes it is death metal, sometimes thrash, sometimes they play like Cynic, sometimes like Morgoth (on "Odium"). Weird mixture. They call their music "progressive metal with an in-your-face approach." Does this help ? Hope so.... If not, their mp3 is available on their web page. I've just started really liking Apprehension, an album with some great moments, as well as some really poor elements. While ideas for riffs and the whole structure are sometimes really great, things are quite often ruined by childish, annoying solos (e.g. The 3rd track). This is something that the band should either work on, just completely forget about and scrap, or maybe make the songs a little bit shorter. On the whole, it is an album that can be a gateway for this band to go somewhere that, with a little bit of promotion, may surface on the metal scene in the future. If you think

- Piotr Pyczek, Masterful Zine

Fear Absolute - Apprehension
Discorporate Music (2003)

The opening 40 seconds of this album are tight, innovative and gripping. I was momentarily stunned by the fresh and choppy intro to the first track. It isn't until the :43 mark, when Cookie Monster steps up to the microphone and asserts his presence, then cracks in the foundation begin to show. Don't get me wrong, I love Death and Speed metal as much as the next basement dweller, but this album needs to ditch the muppet on the mic. The music is tighter than a busload of nuns on the way to confession, but the vocals make the listener want to giggle like a schoolgirl. Fear Absolute has the potential to break into the much larger market by adding more melodic vocals to their sound. This is a band that is not afraid to defy the rules of metal -- slowing tempo or dropping the volume for extended periods to show their technical side and songwriting skills. With the right vocal style, this band could be a force to be reckoned with.

- Repo Kempt, SoundCheck Magazine

Fear Absolute - Apprehension
Discorporate Music (2003)

Fredericton's Fear Absolute have carved quite a niche for themselves in the East Coast Metal Scene over the past couple of years. Their recorded output has kept their name out there, as they have been pretty inactive in the live scene over the past year due to line-up shuffles in the bass position. They seem to have that problem solved, as Rick Daigle will know be handling the four-string duties. So what we have here is a Metallica situation of sorts - where their current bassist will not be found on the latest album.

Apprehension was released a mere week ago to rave reviews from local 'bangers and with just cause. From the production to the layout, this album looks like Century Media or Nuclear Blast should be occupying the back sleeve. Cheers to Discorporate Music for sparing no expense in making this look like top-notch product.

So does the music warrant such an eloborate, glossy look? Yes.

Having never heard the band prior to picking up this release, I must say I was pleasantly surprised. I was expecting some technical death metal in the vein of Morbid Angel, but Fear Absolute are much deeper than that.

Instead, the power trio give nods to both the old and new school of Metal. They have taken the Euro-Thrash approach of bands of Sodom and Kreater, sprinkle in some mid-90s Florida-style Death Metal and boil it into a chunky stew of math-Metal quirkiness. Yet they somehow they wrap it up in a catchy package, giving non-Metal fans a reason to nod their head.

Individual performances is what gives Apprehension its true appeal. Drummer Dan Rogers pulls off some amazing chops. His double bass and blast beats are especially impressive.

Vocalist/axeman Dale Lyons also brings equally amazing musicianship to the table. Vocally, he reminds me of a lower register Patrick Mamelli from Pestilence, while his playing comes from the James Murphy school of thought.

I also appreciate the fact that Fear Absolute take an alternate route when it comes to lyrics. Instead of focusing on gore, death and other cliched Death Metal subjects, Lyons has opted to me more instrospective and spritual with his words...not unlike Death or Cynic.

A top-shelf release from Fear Absolute that makes me even more curious to where they will take their music in the future.

- Dan Hodgson, Hellride Zine

Fear Absolute - Apprehension
Discorporate Music (2003)

Fear Absolute Deliver The Goods

On the second album from Fredericton's Fear Absolute, the band is showing more consistent songs and a much more constant album. And while Death/Thrash Metal may not be everybody's cup of tea, people should be proud of the fact that the guys can now compete on the same scale as any Indie Metal band out there.

In both production and sheer right-in-the-face power, the talent shines through, especially Dan Rogers who can also give a lesson to anyone in power drumming. There are some nice highlights throughout the album, including the forceful Dreamland. The guitar work is quite good for riff based songs. The big surprise is the progress of band member Dale Lyons, in which the vocals and guitar are much better in this second offering. Unlike most Death/Thrash bands, the songs are well crafted with thought-provoking lyrics. There are quite many mid-tempo Metal songs too like the very refreshing All That I Had where the band shows their extent of progress over the previous album.

Production is quite good too (thanks to producer Greg Selwah and the band). The art cover is also much better than the first album, a beautiful illustration, which fits this album like a glove. The group is now signed to Halifax Label Discorporate Music and the CD comes shrink wrapped and professionally done.

Apprehension is much stronger than their debut and the guys should be commanded for it, a very nice surprise indeed. I hope Fear Absolute will continue upon this path and deliver a killer 3rd album. I'm sure they can do it. Keep up the good work guys!

- Gary Boole, freelance writer

Fear Absolute


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