Fear Index

Live review from Underground Heavy #8:


1. Intro
2. Trash
3. Capitalize
4. Haters
5. Breaking the Law (Judas Priest cover)
6. Two-Face

It was exciting to be at the first Heavy show in well above a year (the last one was in the tail-end of 2011!), and from looking at Fear Index, it looked like it would be comparable to the other ones too. They really, really looked the part of a post-90s metal band, with their regular-looking clothes and the particular combination of hairstyles. And they do sound the part too. There’s plenty of thrashy shredding, a huge bass-drum sound, high-pitched and winding solos, and screaming. However, this combination of sounds can be asserted about nearly any and every metal band on the planet, and therein lies their problem; they are so genre-limited as to have no discernable style of their own. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; some bands look at their purpose as purely to have a good time and entertain, and that’s fine. They were wholly so, and in combination with the typically enthusiastic crowd we get at Heavy shows, they were a hit. However, they do assert that they focus on being melodic, and I fear I must inform them that they’re really not playing something that sounds like melodic metal.

Singer Chester also needs to spend some time on sorting out his vocal technique – his screaming is okay, but when he sings, it sounds hammy and shouty. Perhaps he needs to choose one path to go down, or simply needs training, but either way it really needs to be sorted out. His vocals did work, however, on Breaking the Law and Two-Face, in which the singing and screaming sounded appropriate. I can’t tell precisely what it was that made it so, but perhaps the more classic rock, Van Halen-esque style they adopted in the song is more appropriate. Their drummer is fantastic, being able to play thrash excellently, and just a tad behind the beat, which is a very rare quality to have.

Finally, I must say something about the soloing as well – from time to time it appeared as though the solos were more alt rock and broody than thrashy bands typically have, I couldn’t get a read on them… And the reason for this leads me to say something I don’t think I’ve ever said before – the solos weren’t long enough (!!!). Perhaps this is another aspect they should look at; what I heard of the solos was good, with the singing/screaming guitar sound, and menacing tones, but there wasn’t enough of them for me to be able to gauge th direction in which they were going, in terms of style. Perhaps that’s why I couldn’t tell how melodic (or not) they were… Regardless, there were definitely the seeds of good tunes in their songs; they need to figure out how best to manifest them. They were certainly fun to watch, and worked the crowd into the sort of lather required to begin a Heavy show.

Shashwati Kala

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Performances by Fear Index: