Friday 12 September 2014

No Fealty - In The Shadow Of The Monolith

I was really curious when I read a note in an e-mail that said that No Fealty features current and ex members of Hexis. Hexis are a band I really like and I've been as excited about No Fealty as I was the first time I saw Hexis live. That being said, I shouldn't in anyway be comparing No Fealty to their compatriots. Bands should be appreciate in isolation from each other, no matter who the current members are.

No Fealty are from Copenhagen, Denmark and In The Shadow Of The Monolith was the band's first release in 2013. Released via a great cooperative of different record labels and featuring guest appearances from like-minded individuals, it was released on vinyl and limited to 300 copies before later appearing on tape too.


1. Deprivation
2. Kadavergehorsam (Do And Die)
3. Feed The Leviathan
4. Strict Seawater Diet
5. Damnant Quod Non Intelligunt
6. The Emperor Is Laughing (While You Are Making Plans)
7. Animalism
8. Iron Triangle
9. Discomposure
10. Corrupted
11. Savior
12. Rabies God

No Fealty condense the rage of metallic hardcore, the distant ambience of black metal and the speed of grind into a sound that shows they mean business. It’s not surprising when you know the scene and bands they’ve come from. Deprivation is too the point yet still atmospheric. A sub three-minute chunk of blackened pain. No Fealty’s more urgent side shows through more on Kadavergehorsam (Do And Die). It leans more towards punk/hardcore and it’s message is simple, “Just Do And Die”. The band are joined by Filip from Hexis on Feed The Leviathan. The riffs are huge, especially at the start and the chaotic instrumental backdrop clearly suits Filip’s coarse tones. This is more off-kilter but it continues the momentum well. 

With Strict Seawater Diet, it seems that No Fealty’s only mission is to play faster and faster with each song. The orchestral black metal riffs are a pleasure to behold and give the song it’s own personality and vibrancy. There are other guests on In The Shadow…, with Troels and Niels (of Mighty Midgets and more) appearing on Damnant Quod Non Intelligent. It’s a real mix of approaches, with more black metal rubbing shoulders with grind and crust, all weaved into No Fealty’s song-writing so it sounds cohesive and together. The monolithic, post-metal inspired opening passage of The Emperor Is Laughing (While You Are Making Plans) is amazing, It’s definitely the song on the album and the one you want to hear in an intimate live show. The bass in the background rumbles during the heavier sections, while the sample that plays over the top of those riffs makes it feel all the more haunting. 

Things switch back in a bleaker, heavier direction on Animalism and in spite of it’s short playing time, No Fealty make it seem longer than it is through the use of clever song-structure. Iron Triangle follows in exactly the same way. It’s head-spinningly heavy yet it retains melody thanks to the use of metallic riffs. As Discomposure careens forth, it’s obvious that the second half of In The Shadows is meant to be more challenging on the ear. Musically though, it isn’t all over the place as the mid-section of the song demonstrates. These Danes definitely know how to express the coldness of their winters alongside the obvious ills that face them in society on Corrupted

They don’t promise salvation with Savior either. Instead they paint a bleak picture that conjures up images of every-man-for-himself and the fight for survival. It’s the penultimate tome on an album that will leave you far from content with your world. Religion doesn’t escape their malice either during Rabies God, where they’re joined by Leonie from Svffer for a final ode to the false prophet. By far the most chaotic and noisy song on In The Shadow…, it ends abruptly leaving you jarred.
No Fealty have definitely showed their intent with this record and have a caustic, heavy sound that is more the welcome to these ears. Now more than ever, you should pay attention to this beacon of blackness.

You can stream the whole album here:-

You can purchase it digitally or in glorious analog form from No Fealty's bandcamp page above.

As mentioned above, you can also purchase vinyl/tape copies from the following labels:-

Angry Music Records -
Break The Silence -
Gheea Music -
Swarm Of Nails -
TNS Records -
Wolves And Vibrancy Records -
5FeetUnder Records -

No Fealty Facebook -
Break The Silence Records Facebook -
Gheea Music Facebook -
Swam Of Nails Facebook -
TNS Records Facebook -
Wolves And Vibrancy Records Facebook -
5FeetUnder Records Facebook -

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