Fulgora album review for Stratagen (2015)

stratagen

Fulgora – Stratagem

So this album was released back in March it’s been busy so I haven’t had a chance to review this album yet. Listening to this album brings a sound of pure chaos. Starting off you have a band with one of my top drummers in metal Adam Jarvis, as well as  bassist John Jarvis, and  B.L. Lamew on vocals.  Listening to this album if you have never heard them before will be 0-100 in 1 second.

The album starts out with a track basically just a sound sample from the 1981 movie “Scanners“.

Then on to the next track

Splinter starts with a nice groove with guitars and drums putting you into a state of comfort and then the vocals come in and the chaos begins. Vocals have a sound that is similar to Pig destroyer meets early The Dillinger Escape Plan. Just unfiltered red in the face forcefully telling you how it is vocals.  I dig the sound the guitars have; we aren’t talking about chugging riffs, just attacking you with a constant motion of sound. Drums display a great use of the whole drums set, not a lot of blast beats, just keeping the rhythm going with the occasional need for blast beats.  Really digging this track so far and it rounds out to a nice groove, and vocally abrupt attack to end the song.

Track 3 “Risen“  starts with guitars and drums again, also a nice groove. It has a  riff then drum fill for a few bars going right into a easily to follow guitar riff and vocals.  This song has a great groove to it, it builds up the momentum early, I really dig the riffs these guy have for this song.  It has a political riot feel to it.  It’s organized and chaotic at the same time. The strings really keep the listeners ability to follow along there without resorting to typical chugging riffs.  They keep the same easy to follow riffs going back to the groove they started out with ending out with a breakdown and a solid one two punch with the vocals. This would be a great song to hear live with the amount of energy these guys radiate through their music. It’s a bit early to call this my favorite track on the album, but it’s a solid tune indefinitely.

Track 4 “Artifice“ starts with guitars, a high pitch feedback then low  steady riff  with a heavy drum presence. The vocals kick in to complete the circuit. You have a head bobbing groove right here early in to the song In fact  the more I hear this, the more  I am reminded of The Dillinger Escape plans calculating infinity.  Right around 1:20 into the song you have a great riff and drum sequence for a few bars with vocals complimenting the sound. They keep the same tempo which is great considering how many drum fills and riff changes throughout the song.

Track 5 “Design“  which seems to be a quote from Christopher Hitchens. ( google him )
Track 6  “Crutch“ starts out with guitar ( for lack of a better term) noise, and a bass line.  Boom! The guitars come in full distortion. A drum line that gives you a false sense of comfort/ security for something that will Inevitably change. Vocals come in with a ferocious attack of a      wake… up.. accept this fleeting life!  Powerful lyrics accompany the assault from the guitars and drums.  Eventually it slows down to a sludgy sound for a few lines.  Picking back up to the chaotic grinding noise that filled most of the 3:43 minute long song.  This is probably my least favorite track however not a bad song by any means.  I would have loved to hear them go back to that same sound they started out the song with, back to the same drum beat and taper off, but hey everyone has an opinion right?

Track 7 “Meridian“starts out much the way you would expect the final song to start out.  It opens up to guitars that seem to sound victorious in their riffs like they achieved global domination by way of an anarchist movement.  Then boom right into a riff with blast beats coming from Adams drum set. This song continues to assault you with very unpredictable drums and guitars that progress into what one could describe as the feeling of a root canal without numbing the pain. Just a sharp attack on the nerve.  The song gets to its last leg of sludgy punchy slow grimy sound “this is the end“ style riffs and drums. The vocals giving you an idea of a martyr’s last breath. With abrupt silence we have reached the end.

All in all this was a great album to listen to, it’s very chaotic in nature but that’s what the band is trying to pull off. Fulgora comes from Roman mythology for the goddess of personification of lightning.  That being said Fulgora to me is what you could imagine bottling lightning up and then having yourself a listen when you uncap that bottle.  For what it’s worth I am a big Adam Jarvis fan to begin with; I haven’t actually heard anything that I flat out didn’t like ?  If you compare his other three bands to Fulgora you will hear a different sound for each.  I really like the way the guitars sound as well.  Fulgora can satisfy the fans of grind and noise, as well as the metal fans who don’t listen to grind.  For every bit of chaos these guys portray, they have an organized way to their sound.  They aren’t trying to appeal to everyone, and not everyone will find this album satisfactory, maybe they are into your typical mainstream hard rock, or the ever so popular djent style bands. Fulgora gives you a micro burst of directed energy throughout every track they play on.  I really like how they opened up from a line from the movie scanners. A few tracks later another sound clip taken right from Christopher Hitchens “You want your god to take responsibility for the huge number of collapsing stars and imploding galaxies and destroyed universes and failed solar systems that have left us in this tiny corner on the one planet in this petty solar system that can support life some of the time on some of its surface. And you want a creator who’s filled this earth with species since life began, 99% of which are now extinct already. This is some design isn’t it” Thus adding to this album‘s powerful imagery of a chaotic movement in music. Take a listen and see what you think,  whether you like them or not, take a listen to Pig Destroyer, and Misery Index both bands feature Adam Jarvis on the drums.  You can find Fulgora on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/fulgoramusic

-Badger \m/
http://www.badgersmetalbreakdown.com

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