As the first note broke, I was certain this ought to be a black, brutal-growling, thrash-type noisy metal. I had sensed it at first glance. This was the kind of music which could make my ears bleed. Expecting this, I lowered the volume by three percent and mentally prepared for the second coming.
Or so I had thought.
I could never have been farther from the truth. This sound was completely different. I checked which band which I was listening to; it was the same. Feed Them to the Lions by Redscale(2019). Originating from Berlin, Germany, I was promised eight melodic tracks in this sophomore album. I was skeptical, I must admit. Being particularly sensitive to that sort of music, I doubted the description.
But it was until the instruments came together with the guitar shrieking and bass in the spotlight. The first song, Feed Them to the Lions was not what I had imagined at all. There was groove in each drop of a chord. The drummer raised the temperature to meet the emotions. Three minutes later, the vocals came and added life to the band. The tone was what caught me instantly. This tone was similar to that specific one which I personally prefer listening to. Altogether it was a commanding intro. You cannot take a pause after being involved in this business.
By the time Hydra and Unstuck in Time followed, there was no question that this was an album I did not like to write a review for. It was nonsense. Why think and speculate each section of the music when there is nothing left to comment on? This was not meant for thinking but for tossing one’s head. The immediate riffs never failed to persuade me. It was ideal for air-guitar/air-crowd dive impulses. Catchy and repetitive, with the bass highlighted and the guitars yes the guitars. I had to ask myself several times, “Why is the guitar doing that?” out of fascination. I was, in simple words, awestricken.
The Hard Rain kept this constant stream of action. It was indeed a war. Each clash began with a characteristic accent. The song was a stimulus. The band was an army resounding against a mountain of archenemies. It was how ears would respond to a long-awaited rebellion.
The drummer and bassist moulded the rhythm in Bells of War. The lead pioneering his own craft simultaneously without losing that factor without which would otherwise divide them. I was effectively attracted to this type of instrumentation. This continuance which is capable of encouraging imagery. It was aflame. How we lord over this battlefield depends on how realistic we can bring thoughts to life.
At Cold Down, I was holistically ready. I had an impression of what had and what was to come. The electrics just pinched through and opened the song ill-temperedly. How they would make sudden pauses, those mini split-seconds of breaks, and then collapse into a free-fall was near hypnotic.
Ashes had this certain shredding of guitars, which almost resembled the bands I mostly listen to. It was a four and a half minute instrumental. Saying that, even without vocals, nothing seemed incomplete. Nothing was amiss. The song was whole. Independent and insistent, it could be mistaken as a video game soundtrack, that when the hero is finally meeting the motherboss. It compels you to make a fist and jump repeatedly for no reason as you engage in a combat with your shadows.
The last piece, Phoenix, had lived up to its name. Like the legendary bird, this spoke not of the end, but revival. By this point I caught myself asking, “What is the bass doing to itself?” out of stupefaction. It had automatically controlled my soul via headbanging and muted screaming. There were times I thought the music had died, for it had begun to shrink, but please, this song knows no afterlife. Again and again it would return for another phrase as it consumed the remaining time. Before it ran out, I was convinced I had formed a short-lived obsession with the guitar-play.
Feed Them to the Lions is a battlefield and nothing else. It was metal which had retained in it, a sense of aestheticism. The concept was lyrical, and given the timbre of the guitars, especially during the first song, I had to play it at least twice for the assurance that I was listening to the same band. After all this, I am perhaps, thankful to have reviewed this piece of art. This was the kind of music which you listen to on repeat, rocking your body to-and-fro with a cup of milk in your hand as you pretend it’s alcohol. But nevertheless, a revolutionary war which earned from me a rating of 8.
Now, come and fasten your helmet. Life is on the other side of this battlefield. Are you ready?
Review by Estefan Malgret