Led by Ola Englund, now also guitarist with The Haunted, Feared have steadily evolved and matured over the course of three albums but have yet to transcend their status as a primarily cult concern in Scandinavian extreme metal. Vinter deserves to change that, not least because this is by far the biggest-sounding and most deftly constructed of the band’s records to date.
It’s bolstered by a crushing production job that marries the best of old-school grubbiness with gleaming, state-of-the-art impact.
Ola’s riffs are the key to these songs’ vicious efficacy; on the vitriolic surge of Hate Is Everything and the lolloping, Gojira-tinged Mass Destruction, Feared skillfully hedge their bets between deathly grind and ultra-modern oomph, resulting in a timely but ageless hybrid of brutal styles with authentic crossover charisma.
Vocalist Mario Ramos’s versatile arsenal of growls and screams keeps the likes of Needle Effect and Invidia in underground-friendly territory, but there is an overall sense of grandeur and girth throughout that seems to point to greater potential than bands of this stripe would normally expect.