Fear Theories-So It Begins
This self-produced/self-released EP comes courteous of Norway's Fear Theories. Formed in the fall of 2010, and having thus far shared the stage with the likes of Sabaton, Overkill, Eluveitie and Paradise Lost (among others), the band's EP first came across as a smoldering mix-up of traditional heavy metal, power metal and, rightfully so, thrash metal. At least that was my initial impression of "So It Begins". That first listen seemed to suggest a band well-versed in the "classics". That would be everyone and anyone, up to and including, Metallica (both older: "Kill 'Em All" and newer: the "Black Album", "Load" and "Re-Load"), Motörhead, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Anthrax, Black Label Society and Slayer. With repeated listens though you get a better grasp of what this no-frills metal act has tucked up it's sleeves. For you see, besides just looking toward the "classics" for inspiration, the group, which is lead quite effectively by guitarist/vocalist Andreas Tjøsvoll (whose rough vocal delivery seems to be only matched by his skills as a guitarist), is also able to adopt the likes of Clutch, Helmet and even Prong for their own good. So, there's actually much more then first meets the eyes when we're talking about the guys in Fear Theories. While Andreas Tjøsvoll, and his approach to the music at hand, does give the band this appealing raw/underground vibe the fact remains that he is only one man and Fear Theories, when you get right down to the gooey goodness at the heart of this Norwegian treat, is most definitely a multi-headed beast! Lead guitarist/backing vocalist Ole Sønstabø is of course worthy of mention as the fast & furious guitar solos on "So It Begins" are pure bolts of metallic lightning! Together with Andreas Tjøsvoll you end up having a pair of guitarists whose crushing riffs sizzle and crackle as if their riffs alone would be more then enough to light up the night's dimly-lite sky! And right there in that sentence is one key word that just about sums up what this 4-piece act is all about. That word is "crushing". The heavy metallic weight of "So It Begins" really is quite crushing. Although you could also just say that with this EP, which is most definitely too short for it's own good, you'll very likely walk away with a sense of heavy metal over-load. If that's even possible for heavy metal maniacs. Anyway, the rest of this gang needs mentioned as well. Håkon Sakseide (bass,backing vocals) and Brage Nygaard (drums) are, rightly-so, every bit as important as the two guitarist. United together by a love of all things heavy and loud, which is really how it should be, the four musicians of Fear Theories combine to create a heavy metal monster that comes straight out of the gate, eyes made of pure fire, and with all guns blazing! As it's only a EP you are left longing for more, but you do learn early on (in both life and in the field of heavy metal) to just take the good with the bad. I close finally with just one more all-too-important thought. How will I find room to include what, at year's end, may very well end up being another edition to my best-of list?