FEAST FOR THE CROWS, When All Seems to Be Burned  (2007, Bastardized Recordings)

The skull:
For once my attention is not on the skull itself, but on the nonsense idea/graphics happening below. These two guys (identical twins, apparently) are talking simultaneously, saying “when all seems to be burned.” Very pessimistic, boys. They look dopey with their heads maned with what looks like yellow fire or sunflower petals. I’ll go with sunflower petals, just for fun. The skull itself, well he’s just hanging out above these guys, his ear holes having sprouted dragons and sporting wings behind him. You know how it is. Happens all the time. These wings apparently have no practical purpose for either skull or dragon. An ugly mess of yellow, this cover, with a concept that’s pretty much random nonsense without any meaning whatsoever. And yes indeed, I am looking for PROFOUND meaning in these skull covers! Maybe that’s the problem.

The music:
For a band who I’ve seen labelled as both “melodic death metal” and “metalcore,” I will give Feast For The Crows props: they are certainly melodic and deathly enough to qualify as “melodic death metal,” and if they’re “metalcore,” they certainly have equal amounts of metal and, uh, “core” to skate by. It’s not really my sort of thing, especially when they get into the slower breakdowns (as within “Abandon”) but they’re quite good at what they’re trying to achieve. The performances are all strong, although the drums sound much too fake/plastic. Getting further into the guts of this album, this is almost the missing link between Odium and Feel Sorry For the Fanatic that Morgoth failed to deliver. You know, that kind of German metal that sits in a genre-less nether-region, borrowing bits of this and bits of that and ending up with precision attack cold metal. F.F.T.C. give it a more modern/generic twist, but that’s the general wheelhouse this thing sits in.
— Friar Wagner