|Review: Fenris - Fill The Void|
|Fill The Void|
Label: Source of Deluge Records
Year released: 2007
Genre: Progressive Power Metal
Review online: April 22, 2007
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
for:Fill The Void
Rated 1.5/5 (30%) (4 Votes)
According to the accompanying press release, "Fill the Void" is a hidden treasure and an extremely rare collector's item that the good people of Source of Deluge records have courteously re-released for our ultimate pleasure, with some new modern artwork. Eh? Did I receive the right CD? Modern bloody artwork? Take a look at this thing: it's a good damn train wreck! What the hell must the original one look like? I guess ultimately it matters little, as I doubt many of you will be purchasing this unless you happened to hear the original pressing, as "Fill the Void" is an extremely dated, unoriginal and frankly messy album that should have been left at the bottom of the bargain bin to rest in peace.
Starting life as a rather successful metal band named The Intrüders, German progsters Fenris split initially after recording this, their only ever full length, back in 1994 after they failed to re-staff the band following a mass departure. Frankly I don't blame them as bands like Dream Theater and Shadow Gallery would be upstaging them at every possible opportunity when showcasing their inventive talents. Back in 1994, this might have been pretty daring; the use of obscure time signatures and jazz bass lines certainly freshens up the feel of the album, but the rather boring tried and tested formula of early Queensryche and Fates Warning is pretty damn lame at times, and the injection of US styled power metal grates too when considering vocalist Michael Tegge's penchant for crotch-grabbing screams and over pronounced, shaky vibrato.
There are some civilized progressive passages, particularly the disjointed and almost groovy bass/drum intro to "Sons of Fenris", which wouldn't be out of place on a Spock's Beard album. The longest track on offer clocking in at over nine minutes, "The Thought" provokes slightly with a nice use of dynamics and some quite decent Maiden riffs and even some Metallica in places – although the vocal lines are flawed and very unimaginative; plodding obdurately over the chaotic instrumentation below. When it's power metal, it is pretty boring, and bares resemblance to bands like Onward or Destiny's End, but when Fenris flex their prog muscles, there is an interest that piqued even my stubborn curiosity. Who knows where Fenris could have gone if they had found suitable replacements for their extinguished faction; we might have seen them blowing glasses off heads at the ProgPower festival. Although, in the shadow of greater bands, I bet all they could do was blow a fart in the face of the opposition. Take that Mike Portnoy, "It's the smell of inadequacy…"
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