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Foehammer : Foehammer (EP)

A good sound and all the right tools, Foehammer just need a little more focus.

For a little bit of backstory, Foehammer is a 3-piece sludgey, Stoner Doom metal band out of Virginia and this is the group's first true release after a 3 track demo in 2014. For the most part, this self-titled EP can be viewed as a new group trying to 'find' their sound and kind of feeling out a genre they may or may not be very familiar with, so let us dissect the doom. The bass, on it's own, isn't the strongest weapon the band has in their arsenal but it's strength is clear when the bass and guitar thread together into a dirty, sludgy tone that would make Wreck of the Hesperus proud. In the same frame of thought, the few times the guitar is left alone in the mix it sounds terrible, outside of the droney feedback sections usually laced at the beginning of each song. It would also probably be a good idea to make a decision on guitar solos, as the couple that appear on the record seem incredibly out of place. Either scrap the concept or go all in and make it work with your dirgy sound. The vocals also find themselves as a moot point as far as the overall sound goes, as I don't particularly consider them poor or impressive.

One of my main problems with the record is the 'jam band' feel to the music, as it is both not my cup of tea and forces the songs to be stretched far thinner than they should be. It's essentially sacrificing songwriting and replayability for track length, which is not something anyone should ever be doing, even in a genre known for extensively long songs. The drummer often times seems as though he's trying to do a little too much and not giving the ample breathing room that music of this particular style usually needs to thrive. He clearly showcases that he has the talent to drive the percussion of the band, but... just take it down a step, man. As far as individual tracks go, the closer ('Jotnar') easily comes off as the most interesting and probably some ideas to focus on moving forward. The back and forth between pounding, heavier sections to weird, ambient feedback chunks was where I found myself the most engaged and excited. Taking the product as a whole with a grain of salt, I would definitely pass this along to fans of Wreck of the Hesperus or Akem Manah. For a first swing at the plate for a band of this style, they definitely have a good sound and the tools in place to make a great collection of songs, they just need to work on fine-tuning their strengths and unstretching their product a bit. More personality, less plodding.

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Reviewer's rating: 5.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Final Grail
2. Stormcrow
3. Jotnar

Duration : Approx. 34 minutes

Visit the Foehammer bandpage.

Reviewed on 2015-08-31 by Jon Carr
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