After crawling in followers since their first single, ‘Sewn To The Sail & Unknown’, F.O.E.S. (which is short for Fall Of Every Sparrow) have arrived with their debut release, ‘Orphir’; an under-exaggerated take on post-hardcore with a curious underlining of mystery and sentiment. This record reeks of intrigue and a laid back attitude that forms such a nonchalant front that it unfortunately fails to live up to the potential that’s generated within the five tracks.
‘The Writing On The Wall’ will linger in your mind as a stand-out track with perhaps the most memorable chorus throughout the album. “The songs we sing are dead and buried” sings Chris Mackrill so calmly while the back-up vocals are itching for the song to break out from its shell. The same applies to ‘Four Of Oxblood’, which showcases the band’s clever guitar and drum combinations, but appears to promise crescendos that just run flat without a climax.
Lead single, ‘Ningyo’, seems like a strange choice at first; a ballad to lead the release may lead new listeners astray but the light/dark divide throughout the song is one of the highlights that ‘Ophir’ has to offer, and shows F.O.E.S. at their most emotional/vulnerable.
The best is left ’til last though, as the excellently titled ‘The First Rook To Flee As The Thunder Rolls In’ finally gives us the atmospheric feel we’ve been teased in 4 tracks. It’s exciting, it’s impressive and it’s what every song by the band should be like. The vocals link into each other well and the closing ends the EP in a frenzy of clashing drums and strong riffs, an eventual satisfaction that’s well deserved.
Perhaps fans will claim that they hear Deftones and At The Drive-In within ‘Ophir’, but they’ll be hard pushed to compare it to work by such powerfully strong artists who sing from the heart. F.O.E.S. sound disinterested already, not quite going through the motions, but there’s not enough here to excite or impress despite some good ideas along the way.
Written by Michael Heath
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.