"All Sights Affixed, Ablaze"

BY Dr. Abner Mality

Idol of Fear is a very serious band. They take their musicianship seriously, they write serious lyrics and in general, there's not a light-hearted or fun moment to be found on "All Sights Affixed, Ablaze". Nothing unusual about that....many progressively minded bands approach music the same way. The question is...are these guys good enough to rise above all this clench-jawed grimness?

This is a tough one to analyze. It's very well played and the songs are sophisticated and epic. I'd call it progressive melodic death metal, with an extremely grim atmosphere. Opeth fans would probably dig it....perhaps even those into mid-period Death as well. And Idol of Fear's sound is fairly unique, too....not too reminiscent of any one band in particular.

But it doesn't strike a strong chord with me. Though definitely drawing on death metal, it doesn't seem all that heavy. The guitar production is very brittle and dry, like the wood of a long dead tree. Bottom end is lacking. I do like the very articulate but gruesome growling vocals, they fit the music perfectly. But outside of those vocals, I don't get much of a feeling of passion from "All Sights Affixed, Ablaze". A moment or two of brutality amidst all the calculated riffery would not have been out of place.

The songs are fascinatingly laid out, with acoustic interludes and melodic solos, but passion is what this needs a dose of. There's something very interesting going on with Idol of Fear but it's not fully realized yet.