The place: Florence. The time: some point in the year 1573. A group of like-minded intellectuals meet together in the house of Giovanni de’Barti to discuss and further the practice of the arts, especially Drama and Music. Their influence on the flow of music of the period forced artists to reassess the palette of sounds they had been using. Not so much a creative force but a collective of idea men, their opinions and attitudes forever changed the aesthetic ideal that shaped the composition of dramatic music. The name for this Cabal of virtuoso minds: The Florentine Camerata.
Shift forward 430 years and a new Camerata is born. The place this time is the south west of England, more specifically Devon. Again, like-minded individuals whose love for music and Metal specifically, brought them together to draw on a bredth of influences to create some of the most vitally interesting Death Metal to come out of the UK in a long time.
Their EP Encryption Paralysis re-released with vocals by their new front man, Munky is now available for free download via their Bandcamp site.
What TFC provide here are 3 eviscerating odes to man’s powerful bent towards self-destruction. The music is a perfectly constructed bridge between Death Metal and its more Technical cousin. Full of running and youthful vigour at the joy and possibility of this kind of Metal.
The opener Architects of Destruction opens explosively with a fast, swirling melody before breaking down into a run of hard-hitting triplets; a section that almost compels the listener to contort along with the menacing pulse of the sound. This is followed on with open phrasing of bass and drums, which allows the intensity to wound around the guitar as it modulates through different sections.
Following this is the unrelenting ….Into Obscurity. A scarring melody peeling away in layers around a hard driving Death Metal rhythm which then drops in tempo, exacerbating its brutality; becoming heavier, full of threat and lack of compromise, before the pace is cranked up again and we are bombarded by a revitalised melodo-shred assault.
The final track on the Ep is one of most sparkling pieces of British Metal I have encountered in years. Ambivalence demands your attention from the start with an insistence that needs to be heard to be believed. The phrase used, being reshaped through several unyielding, body-shocking riffs. As they wind the music, as a unit into a chorus with a most inspired and indelibly memorable use of pinch harmonics. After which they gear up again and pummel the ears and the mind right through to the end of the track.
This is intelligent Metal, Very much in the vein of Soreption and Gorod, but these young men wear their comprehensive learning lightly. Balancing melodic intricacy with an unequivocal knowledge of when and how to apply the power required to get the heart pumping and the body moving. It is fast and unrelenting but with a real, unique, twisted edge; full of syncopated rhythmic twists and turns that always slot back into their heavily ploughed grooves that serve to reinforce the melodic joyousness of TFC’s song writing.
New vocalist Munky brings with him both pedigree and menace, being also the front-man of Cryostorm and owner of a savage set of vocal cords. The increased range of newly laid vocals bringing out elements previously left dormant within the recording.
The production is strong and clear without being exceptional. Showcasing just what these young men could accomplish given a budget and a little time. Throughout the playing is insistent, full of nuance, supple suitability and strength. They render their music dramatically but without ever becoming clichéd. Working as a team the way that many bands should: with a real prescient skill as providing each other space.
Despite the praise I have lavished here, I have heard on the grapevine that their new single, which includes a appearance from Julien ‘Nutz’ Dereyes (Gorod), is a paradigm shift forward for them as a collective.
Until that is unleashed on the world, we will just have to wait to see if TFC can become masters of their dominion, but for now we have Encryption Paralysis, an intense and enthralling beginning.
– John Whitmore