Album Review :
The Famine - The Raven and the Reaping

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Artist: The Famine
Album: The Raven and the Reaping
Label: Solid State Records
Release Date: May 27, 2008
Reviewed By: Caleb T

Track Listing:

1. Scar The Earth
2. Behemoth
3. Consume, Devour, Repeat
4. The South Will Rise
5. Death Threat
6. Killing For Sport
7. Cut From The Stone
8. Ascend
9. Another Foot To The Shovel
10. Unending Silence
11. Stitched In Plastic

When you think of the word “famine”, deep growling vocals, fast guitar riffs, and endless double bass usually aren’t the first things that pop into your head. This, however, is what The Famine have given us with their Solid State debut “The Raven and the Reaping”. Sticking to the trend of reuniting, The Famine, which consist on members of ex-Embodyment, have brought back the metal sound we all came to know and love during the Living Sacrifice, Extol, and yes Embodyment era. This is a nice break from the usual metalcore, emocore, or ____core that seem to be saturating the music scene these days.

From the very first track, the listener is sucked into the experience. Beginning with a chant of “Rise” which is sure to get anyone pumped for what’s ahead, the first track “Scar The Earth” kicks off the album with a bang that never lest up. The best part about the entire album for me were the vocals and the message they carry with them. The production quality is excellent to say the least. Listeners can still manage to hear every word clear despite being accompanied with heavy guitar and an endless amount of double bass. The message that is portrayed in the vocals is the most impressive part. The usual themes of death and destruction are clearly present through out the entire album. It’s the hope and light at the end of the tunnel aspect that is found in the songs are what set this apart from others in the same genre. It’s reassuring to hear a band that’s not afraid to put thought and emotion into every single word that is said in the cd.

You can’t review a metal album without mentioning the guitars that come along with the territory. The guitar riffs start early and don’t stop until the last second on the album. They mix well with the other aspects. Not once did I feel overwhelmed or lost in what was going on. My only complaint is that the guitar parts are so intricate that the bass gets lost in the mix. This is quickly forgotten once you get deeper into the cd. There are even a few guitar solos thrown in that offer and nice break before the onslaught begins once again(see Death Threat).

Overall Rating: This pick up was an unexpected surprise when I decided to give it a listen. I honestly wasn’t expecting much from The Famine’s debut but I was proven wrong. Every song on the album seems like a little story in itself. This makes the cd easy to get into and easy to listen. I found myself anxious wanting to see what the next song had in store. I do, however, have a few small complaints. The songs are relatively short. This is disappointing because I found myself want to here more and more. My only other complaint is that a few of the songs tend to have the same heavy guitar and double bass the entire time. It would have been nice to see The Famine try to incorporate some fresh music that often isn’t seen. They did place a sound clips and the beginning of a few songs which I have always liked. Overall, this is a good cd to own if you enjoy any metal cd. It’s a solid debut but mostly a solid foundation in which they should be able to grow in the years to come.

Final Rating: 7/10
Standout tracks: Scar The Earth, Death Threat, Unending Silence

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