Thursday, May 30 2024

Fury of A Dying Planet are a socially aware and environmentally conscious metal project based in London led by Doug Rimington. After previous releases, ‘Bloodied Fjords’ and ‘Repetition to Extinction,’ they return with, ‘Captive’; a song about vivisection (something we at The Indie Grid are stringently opposed to) that is both thematically and musically uncompromising. 

Viewer discretion is advised when watching the accompanying video and also those who are opposed to chunky, drop-tuned riffs may wish to move along, there’s nothing for you here.

So now that we’ve shed the deadwood, let’s dive straight in. Which is exactly what Fury of A Dying Planet do here; no formalities, just a blast beat and guitars machine gunning 32nd notes out with blistering intensity. That intensity rarely wanes, but shifts from double time to single allowing for momentary reflective points. Such as they are; it’s basically a wall of sound coming in mildly varying ferocity.

The transitions are lightning fast and it’s hard to draw breath, let alone process the intricacies of what’s unfolding. We’re in ‘Drop C’ tuning so when that open low C drops it’s like a sledgehammer and it’s used as the bedrock to all the notable riffs. Not in a lazy repetitious way, but to maximise brutality. We are very much in the metal, with a wisp of prog leanings, territory; it’s textural, but heavy as hell.

Indeed, it’s the subtle blend of prog/metal lead motifs based around elements of harmonic minor, natural minor and the lydian mode, which add sufficient colour that shows the more sensitive and thoughtful side of the song. These flourishes are not overblown, nor needless; they sit well and progress the piece musically and thematically, without detracting.

OK, full disclosure time: I actually had to listen to the instrumental version to fully understand what was happening and why. Ultimately it made more sense to me and the vocals, muddied the waters.  Whether I’m alone in my partially confused state, time will tell, but the song challenged my understanding and perceptions of when and where vocals should drop – particularly in what I identify as the verse sections. The deviation between first and second verses, in terms of accenting and stylistic approach is staggering. Clever, but perhaps too clever.

This is where I’m torn; musically and narratively I love this song. It has fantastic riffs, the production is slick and the subject matter is important, but for me it feels like a song that’s been written and then vocals have been shoehorned in, and it pains me to say that. 

Fury of a Dying Planet

Doug has drafted in Paul Brigstocck, an accomplished and powerful vocalist, to perform on ‘Captive.’ His theatrical delivery works in parts, but the separation and consistent lack of variety in the harmonies became frustrating; the lower chest voice within the mix, doesn’t do enough for my money. However, his wide variety in melodic contour, particularly in the dominant head-voice, is demonstrated throughout the song and his phrasing sometimes touches upon Serj Tankian and Bruce Dickinson-esque. Unquestionably, he is a talented vocalist.

Far from self-indulgent, this expansive Rondo structure reprises musical ideas and themes in a lucid and coherent manner and the 3 main riffs are recalled and interjected with some very clever interludes and incidentals. The musicianship, as you would expect from this genre, is exceptional and it is that which elevates the piece. 

So back to the narrative, which is written from the animal’s perspective, in the first person, and is a damming indictment of ‘man’s’ pursuit of vanity over what is morally and ethically ‘right’. It’s very well crafted and makes it’s point without being sanctimonious. The chorus of, “We were here before you became tyrants of the land and seas,” narratively offers cadence, but vocally doesn’t provide enough of a lift. 

The production highlights everything you’d expect from metal; the sound is huge, drums kick, bass and guitars are well balanced and perfectly EQ’d. It’s tight. Full. And packs a punch. It’s only weakness, and this is entirely subjective, are the vocals. I just feel that the song would have benefitted from doubling the dominant voice and only using the lower backing vocal sparingly. This may have provided more definition and would have allowed a definite idea of which section was which, because without the vocals it’s easily decipherable, but with them, well, it feels a bit muddled.

That aside, I refuse to end on a negative because ‘Captive’ is a musically massive song, with some fantastic riffs, you can listen to both versions on their Spotify feed and decide yourselves.

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Review

Summary

Blistering riffs and slick production. The sound is huge, drums kick, bass and guitars are well balanced and perfectly EQ’d. It’s tight. Full. And packs a punch.
79%
Riff Heavy, Uncompromising Metal

Rating

Song Quality
Vocal Performance
Lyrics
Instrumentation
Production

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About Author

Gareth Johnston

Gareth Johnston is a Lancashire based musician and producer who studied music at MMU. He is a former reviewer for 'Glitzine' and when not writing for 'The Indie Grid' can be found restoring old furniture whilst listening to obscure alt-rock. He has too many favourite bands to pick one and insists it's easier to pick a favourite child.

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