Fister - The Infernal Paramount (EP) (2012)


Breaking your bones with a mixture of doom and sludge, St. Louis, Missouri  based three piece Fister aren't new to us. Months ago, Justin gave you an opportunity to get on the bus with his review of their last effort, "Violence", one that left his ears ringing for days. Only three months later, they are poised to release a new EP to their growing throngs of rabid fans. And while "The Infernal Paramount" may only be two songs, and just under twelve minutes long, the howling that you will endure in your inner ear will last for days. After all, with chunky riffs this heavy, you simply have to play this one loud.

Humming distortion and a rumbling low end demand to be heard as "Deaf Wish" fades in. The mix is murky, but in the best way possible, melding all of the elements together in a singular wave form. The slow, sludge filled beat is worthy of a head nod, while the guitars and bass lock together in a deep chugging, accented by flurries of riffs. Even the vocals, as harsh and coarse as ever, seem to come to the party with an extra edge. In a flash, the tempo shifts from crawling doom to up tempo post metal blasts, picking up momentum with every chord and cymbal crash. But as quickly as it put the pedal down, the foot comes off the gas, and they coast to a feedback filled finish.

After the assault of the first track, it would only make sense to slow things down to a brutal grind for track two, which is exactly what you get at the onset. To say that "River Coffins" pounds you into a haze wouldn't do it justice. Every down beat is crushing, especially when added to the weight of a distorted chord that seems to linger forever. As the track shifts into second gear, a great choreographed stop/start section rings through the air, setting the table for some of the most inspired, and horrifying, screams you will find on a sludge or doom effort. But even more impressive than that is the sudden outburst of a screeching guitar lead, one that rears its head for just long enough to make an impression, but not long enough to derail the anvil crushing you from above. Chaos breaks out, with noise emanating from your speakers, almost enough for you to think the invasion has begun. Don't be surprised if the looped spoken phrase at the end haunts your dreams.

A two song offering is always a dangerous one. What if one song, or both for that matter, doesn't measure up? Is it long enough? What if they don't make a big enough impact? But here, Fister can put those worries to bed. These two tracks, separately and together, carry with them the weight of all three members; the blood, sweat and tears that undoubtedly went into every second, every note. This isn't an exhibition on how to play faster than the other guys, or how to overuse effects like so many other bands. "The Infernal Paramount" covers the two criteria that you will never go wrong with: simplicity and substance. Isn't that worth every ounce of sweat?

9/10

Official Site - http://fisterdoom.com/
Bandcamp - http://fister.bandcamp.com/