"The Sovereign"

By Dr. Abner Mality

I can name a ton of bands who have been inspired by old Carcass and Slayer. There's also a lot who have taken their cue from Bolt Thrower and Black Sabbath. But how many bands have you ever heard that have desperately wanted to be ILL-DISPOSED from Denmark???

There's now at least one. Welcome, Ferocity, hailing guessed it, Denmark! Maybe there is a whole culture of Ill-Disposed wannabes there and I missed it? At any rate, if you have ever heard Ill-Disposed's  chunky, mid-paced brand of death metal before, you will immediately realize where Ferocity get most of their inspiration for "The Sovereign" from. And that's not so bad. After all, how many more early Carcass knock-offs with mile-long song titles full of medical terminology do we really need?

This record has a chubby, thick but clear production that I have noticed many Danish death metal bands favoring. Despite what their name implies, Ferocity is not terribly speed-oriented but the heaviness is always there. The biggest weapon in their arsenal...and the source of much of the comparison to the lead vocalist's incredibly guttural, grinding vocals, which are a dead ringer for the godless tones of Ill-Disposed's Bo Summer. Anybody who has ever heard Bo's vocal brutality will agree he is one of the most gruesome and effective ever. His counterpart in Ferocity does an excellent job of following in his footsteps and if you're a fan of Bo's work, then you are gonna dig Ferocity.

As for "The Sovereign" itself, I wish these guys would pick up the pace and maybe toss in a couple of different influences to spice things up. Tracks like "And The Rest Is Silence...", "Son of Sam" and especially "The Sovereign" itself are punishing and fun, but nothing here has the ability to linger in your memory. That makes this record simply another good European death metal album and nothing more. But if you can't get enough of Ill-Disposed, add more points and dig in...