» Blog Archive Review: Fister - Decade of Depression -
Evan Conway News, Reviews

Funny enough, as I began streaming Fister’s Decade of Depression, I was confused when the band decided to open their album with a cover of “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” Not that it’s a bad choice, but rather than I went in blind to this album, hit play, and didn’t look at the tracklisting. Surprise surprise, it’s a cover album, and a good one at that which I was pleasantly taken aback by right away.

Fister are a sludge-doom trio that are every bit as nasty and heavy as their genre would hint at. You’ve got the staple monolithic guitars and extra thicc bass tones that push far beyond the doom conventions of Black Sabbath worship, and a well mixed product that gives clarity while not sacrificing any of the band’s heaviness. Fister have been at it for ten years now, and Decade of Depression sounds like them from a production standpoint, thus leaving the song choices and approach to the classic songs to be examined.

For the most part, I find enjoyment when classic metal bands get covered by arguably more extreme acts. In this case, a bunch of thrash/black metal bands getting the sludge/doom treatment is a ton of fun. In particular the band’s previously mentioned Metallica cover comes across as a great interpretation as it straddles a fine line between being punishing in its crushing weight and meditative progression. Even Slayer’s “Mandatory Suicide” translates extremely well to this new style.

Yet the standout choice on this whole collection is without a doubt Fister covering “Too Old Too Cold” by Darkthrone. The band plays it relatively safe by keeping the cover in line with the original recording, and man does it sound vicious. The original recording is your typical modern blackened heavy metal Darkthrone style, but Fister just make this a less shrill, fuller experience. The band’s Hellhammer comes in a close second for me, personally, but ultimately the band knows how to make the song choices work.

And while this does work for the majority of the album, Fister run into a singular flaw from time to time: the length in which songs can go. Some of the tracks are slowed down from their original arrangements, and understandably it’s done to fit Fister’s style. Namely I found the band’s cover of Danzig’s “How the Gods Kill” to drag a bit. The original song is about six minutes, where here it pushes to eight, and in that time it can feel a bit drawn out.

A critical flaw? Not at all. The covers are refreshing renditions of some arguably classic songs, and the band’s re-recorded version of  “The Failure” from Fister’s split with Dopethrone. Decade of Depression is ultimately a fun release and an enjoyable release from the band into their tenth year. Good stuff, heavy stuff, and an all-around good time.

Decade of Depression is out now. You can stream Fister’s cover of “Too Old Too Cold” below.

Comments are closed.

Follow by Email


Enter your email address: