15 Dec 2021 - Simon
alternative/rock/experimental | Senhor Engenheiro Recordings | Release date: 15 Nov 2021
Take a tour to the outer reaches of rock with the Portuguese collective Fere and their new brilliant album Visceral.
I don’t know about you, but whenever I browse Bandcamp, and come across a new band, I always check out the tags at the bottom of the page, these few carefully chosen words are usually a great indicator of what you are going to get when listening to the band. Today’s review from the Portuguese collective Fere and their new album Visceral has the intriguing tags of Ambient, Doom, Rock, Alternative, Instrumental and Experimental. Now I don’t know about you but that instantly had me excited and interested as to what they sounded like.
You get five songs over 40 minutes which means we get nice lengthy songs that aren’t afraid to take their time and allow the songs the space to breath to better get across the message the band are trying to convey to you the listener.
First song “Atlas” puts its best foot forward and after the obligatory ambient opening sounds, the full band come bursting to life with a catchy melody driven passage. The clean guitar lines take centre stage and really are a joy with their repeating mantra of exuberance. Things soon calm down and some lovely slide guitar take over before swapping partners like an extravagant waltz again with that lovely clean guitar. This song introduces the bands knack of almost sounding like the music is coming apart at the seams, like a badly tailored jacket, and just when you think the whole thing is going to break apart and collapse in on itself, they brilliantly pull it back together and once more set off on the interstellar path of righteous sound.
Second song “Rerum” is much more experimental sounding and has lots of off kilter sounds whose disparity initially throw you off axis, but the solid bedrock of bass and drums instils a solidity to proceedings which gives you a nice base to appreciate the somewhat Middle Eastern sounding guitar work which floats over the top. There is a strong drone element to this track but it never outstays its welcome. The guitars soon turn more frenetic and yet quieter which coupled with the solid drum work sounds like 2 magnetic opposites fighting for control but always destined to be kept apart, it’s a trick which is rather impressive.
Next up is “Reflexo” which is not only the longest song, but a real aural journey. Things start quite sedately with the usual solid drumming coupled with some excellent bass work which recall that Middle Eastern flavour from the previous song. Again, we are treated to that wonderful feeling of a band so intent on trying to get the music inside them out of their system that it feels a little off kilter somehow, as if it all got a bit much for them until they snap out of whatever trance they were in and bring things under firm control, and when they do bring it back under their tight control, they explode into life with a devastatingly heavy wall of sound which is nothing short of exhilarating. Rather bizarrely the song ends sounding like an old-fashioned motorcycle trying to get up a hill, but we can’t have it all can we.
The final two songs “Ossos” and “Raiz” continue with the bands distinctive sound which they’ve laid out in the previous songs and runs with it. “Ossos” in particular, has a wonderful crescendo and honestly sounds as if the band have gotten tired of living on this planet and have blasted off into the cosmos on an interplanetary exploration into dark matter, brilliant stuff. “Raiz” flows beautifully from the previous song and takes a further detour into the unknown and with a final crushingly heavy guitar part finds itself pummelled into oblivion by the pressures of space.
I was intrigued by the Bandcamp description and by the time the album had finished, I’d pressed play again to enjoy the ride and try to unpack just what it is that I’d heard. This came out of nowhere for me and I was seriously impressed by this album, please, do yourself a favour and give it a listen to, as who knows what rabbit hole you will end up in, just know that this is an exceptional album and one I’ll be returning to time and again.