‘Still Breathing’ album review

Still Breathing album art
Image courtesy of Facebook.com/FightTheFuryofficial

album: Still Breathing
artist: Fight The Fury
genre: metal
release date: October 26, 2018
star rating: two out of five

review by Levi Yager

John Cooper in a metal band? I’m all ears. The vocalist is part of a new project called Fight The Fury, and they just released their debut EP titled Still Breathing.

Obviously, there are going to be a lot of questions swirling around this new band. How heavy are they? Are they doing anything innovative within the genre? Is this album worth my time and money? The first two questions are fairly easy to answer: Fight The Fury isn’t super heavy, and they aren’t currently doing anything groundbreaking for metal. The last question really just depends on the proclivities of the listener.

The first track, “My Demons,” will probably be pretty divisive. It’s easy to pass off “My Demons” as sub-par, but the song is actually not all that bad – and you might warm up to it on repeat listens. This track introduces typical, chugging, low guitars and the standard double-bass pedal. Some riffs show up as well. So, at the very least, Fight The Fury has the basics covered. The breakdown is nice, but it’s nothing to write home about. All things considered, even if you hate “My Demons,” I’d encourage you to stick with the EP – there are a couple better offerings to be heard.

One of those highlights is the second song, “Dominate Me.” This is where things get more interesting. The electric guitars inject awesome energy into the track, and it feels like the band is leaning more into metal here. There are a couple breakdown sections, and they’re definitely improvements from what was heard on the first song.

Then, the band falters a little with “Still Burning,” which is a somewhat softer song on the record. Overall, it ends up being kind of boring, and this is a real shame after “Dominate Me” piques your interest.

Track number four is “I Cannot.” This song brings some bite back to the album. One aspect of “I Cannot” that’s pretty cool is the fact that Cooper screams full lines in the verses, which is also some of the best screaming he has on the whole EP. The lyrics are about becoming emotionally numb and being helpless in that capacity. It’s quite relatable – and well-written, too.

The finale of Still Breathing is “Lose Hold Of It All.” It’s an OK closer with a neat, surprise outro, but it doesn’t add much to what’s already been laid out at this point. In fact, “Lose Hold Of It All” kind of feels like it’s trying too hard to be the best song – or one of the best songs – on the record. This may sound like a strange critique, but it rings true if not only for the realization that it falls just short of that aspiration.

Still Breathing isn’t a bad listen for those who follow metal music and Cooper, but many who don’t share both of those interests may want to pass on Fight The Fury for now. While the band showcases solid guitars and decent melodies, they leave more than a couple things to be desired. For example, most of the screams are muffled for some reason, and the lyrics seem shallow at times. Also, there’s quite a bit of singing; I’d like to hear more screaming from Cooper in the future. All in all, Still Breathing establishes Fight The Fury and their sound as a metal act – no more, no less. They have good potential, if nothing else, and I’m curious to see where they go from here.

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