Published May 22, 2015Feared are a dark horse of a supergroup. Unlike many bands made up of a hybrid of larger names, this Stockholm-based collective have not signed to a label for any of their four full-lengths, keeping them a little under the radar. That must be their intention; the music present on Synder is definitely good enough to attract label attention.
One problem for supergroups is finding the balance between simply becoming the sum of their influences or abandoning them completely. Feared walk this line with great finesse. There are certainly thrashy melodic death metal riffs reminiscent of guitarist Ola Englund's the Haunted, and the drumming of Kevin Talley (Suffocation and Dååth, formerly of Dying Fetus and Misery Index) recalls the death metal that made him a household name.
On the other side of the line, there's a certain groove, not so much like the last band Englund and Talley collaborated in, Six Feet Under, but closer to Machine Head. The piano interlude "Dygder," the string-accompanied build-up in "Wolf at the End of the World" and the haunting chorus of "My Own Redemption" help diversify the album's middle section, differentiating it from the pedal-to-the-metal first third and slower but equally heavy final third.
If Feared are a death metal Machine Head, Synder should serve as their The Blackening: a dynamic and aggressive album (not simply a collection of songs) that should be critically acclaimed and, hopefully, will push them to the next level. (Independent)