Do the most hype metalcore sweethearts/darlings even need an introduction at this point? Thankfully for me, no. I still can’t understand how Spiritbox managed to drum up so much hype around their name, to be perfectly fair. Good for them, though, looks like the hard work and that pinch of luck paid off. I did discuss Eternal Blue at length with fellow writer Jean Pierre a while back, for those interested. Today though, I will tackle The Fear of Fear alone. Spooky.
I think it’d be funny, and also cool, if I had enough skill with graphics and editing to make a GIF of me taking the CD/vinyl of The Fear of Fear and just throwing it down in a frenzied suplex, with Mortal Kombat fatality-style writing appearing afterwards spelling out ‘Album: Tackled, Verdict: OK, Musicality: none’. I would then just post this instead as the review.
Alright, alright, jokes aside, The Fear of Fear is actually, surprisingly enough, better than Eternal Blue pound for pound. Look, take a moment to collect yourself, I had to as well. Good, moving on, it’s safe to say you can’t go wrong when you start a record with a terrorizing banger like “Cellar Door”. Goddamn, every riff is ultra nasty and super heavy. I really didn’t expect any of that. It’s easily the band’s heaviest and gnarliest song to date. I started listening to it at loud volume, not knowing what to expect and as it hit, you could see all my clothes and hair blasted to the chair by the sheer air pressure busting from the speakers.
Then, when “Angel Eyes” rolled around, the same thing happened again, but when the breakdown in the song hit, I was holding on to the bed for dear life as the wind from the speakers turned into a hurricane and my room was absolutely trashed to bits. Of course, when the song stopped, I dropped to the floor like a plank. Good riffs. “The Void” and “Too Close/Too Late” are the conveyor belt, mass produced, sparkly-neon-cheap-plastic, radio-friendly flicks. You already know what I’m talking about. Honestly, they’re serviceable, but ultimately just bland and dated.
I would’ve definitely been very appreciative of another catchy yet heavy, dreamy, heartfelt ambiental song like “Constance”. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case this time around. “Ultraviolet” sort of tried to be “Constance II – Electric Boogaloo”, but it’s just riding the coattails of the mood established before, hastily recycling it, instead of expanding on it, or breathing new life into it. “Jaded” partly aimed for this, while also trying to be heavy like the heavy-hitters, and it did neither properly. So, it ended up sounding the most generic of the songs.
The Fear of Fear is a fun little EP. Don’t let my criticism take away any potential enjoyment. It’s fine for what it is. Just don’t expect it to be some kind of genre-redefining masterpiece. Also, this is as good a moment as any to mention that it’s kind of funny that you can stream the album for free on Spotify, but you can’t do the same on Bandcamp. Anyway, I’ll definitely check out further releases from Spiritbox, since some of their heavier stuff really scratches that caveman-riff itch and I recommend doing the same.