Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fear Before The March Of Flames - 2007 A Little Less Teeth [EP]

Band : Fear Before The March Of Flames
Album : A Little Less Teeth [EP]
Release Year : 2007
Genre : Post-Hardcore | Experimental
Tracklist :
1. Mouth (Live from CJLO)
2. High as a Horse (Live from CJLO)
3. Epic Song (Live from CJLO)
4. 237
5. Should Have Stayed in the Shallows (Original Demo)
6. Absolute Future, Absolute Past (Original Demo)

The album begins with three live performances, two of which are from The Always Open Mouth, and the third from the band’s upcoming self-titled release. The first track is Mouth, arguably the band’s most popular song. Surprisingly, the vocals are louder and clearer than the album release, but not to the point where they drown out the instrumentals. They did a pretty flawless job, but the same can’t be said for High as a Horse, as the guitar occasionally muddles the vocals. All I can say about Epic Song (to be renamed Review Our Lives on the self-titled album) is it brings back some of the heavier hardcore elements that saturate the group’s earlier releases. While vocals aren’t exactly abundant with a prolonged instrumental period (in comparison to the song’s length) situated in the middle of the song, a majority of the vocals are screams, with some harsh yelling thrown in at the end. After this section, I was left yearning for more, and felt that these three tracks were rather uninspired. That isn’t exactly the case, as it is more the song selection that bugged me. I expected a lot of heavy because it was a live performance, which in turn would bring out a great deal of emotion that these few songs are somewhat lacking.

The three demos aren’t mind-blowing either. They were taken from two of the band’s studio albums, and 237 was picked from the Master’s of Horror compilation. The production is expectedly raw, but is overall poor as well. Should Have Stayed in the Shallows is by far the most solid, effectively mixing short and speedy riffs with mass amounts of chaotic screaming. It epitomizes the band’s old, mindfully disorganized and hectic style of music. The Absolute Future Absolute Past combination wasn’t impressive at all, with unpleasant singing and the cluttered keys near the end ruining any hope of a decent closing track.

A Little Less Teeth is just barely satisfying. It has a few moments of brilliance, but they are ultimately dominated by a fair share of plain average moments. It also jumps between being a demo compilation and a live EP, and being too short in both categories for either category, it is lacking greatly. Proving to simply be a gift for fans between releases, it is very difficult to recommend this to listeners new to the band. If you love Fear Before, there’s no harm in picking this up. If not, go grab one of their full-length albums. -Justin Taslak

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