Denmark has had its fair share of death metal bands over the years, but none of which have really risen to the heights of their Swedish (or even Norwegian, in my opinion) brethren. OK, Invocator were great, as were Iniquity and Exmortem. Konkhra & Illdisposed released some decent stuff in their early days, but went a bit lame in their latter periods. Other than those guys, I could maybe name a handful of others that caught my attention. Perhaps it’s something in the water, but Ferocity suffer from a similar problem from the majority of what I hear coming from their (and my) native land, namely; a facelessness which renders them teetering on the border between ‘average’ and ‘dull’.
Unfortunately this is the main problem for me on ‘The Sovereign’ (which is the bands 2nd album). Their sound just doesn’t grab me. The riffs sweep past me like a less talented, listless version of Sinister without even sticking to a single piece of short term related grey matter. They have a modern twist on the New York death metal style, occasionally reminding me of modern day Suffocation, just without the killer riffs to seal the deal. Whereas Suffocation paint with a palette of varying colours, Ferocity swipe angrily at their canvas with only battleship grey, mauling your senses into submission with emotionless subwoofer vocals, tedious guitar blasting and ever-present ‘clickety click/ratatatatat’ drumwork. There are a lot of dissonant chords chunked out which serve only to dull the senses further, which when mixed in with jarring time changes just serves to confuse rather than inspire. To be fair, they do occasionally pull out a decent melody every now and then, but it’s usually linked to a drab one chord chugging section which almost instantly sours the sweet moment. When they do use melody, it usually works fairly well, adding a little vibrancy to their sound. However, they can are partial to over egg things, trying to wring too much out of average parts and not giving enough time to the great parts to let them sink in.
‘The Sovereign’ is very much a one dimensional beast, suffering from a lot of issues that most modern death metal bands are plagued with. The worst offender is the fact they rely too much on rhythm, and don’t seem to care so much about riff. While it has tempo changes aplenty, between the blasting and the slow drudgery, there really isn’t a lot at all to write home about here.
(5/10 Lars Christiansen)