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The Fierce & The Dead – News From The Invisible World: “Taut songs with glorious, air-punching choruses.”

Prog faves The Fierce And The Dead are in fine voice on fourth album.



Is it really 13 years since a new band going by the name The Fierce & The Dead released Part 1, a long, sprawling cosmic jam on once-popular website MySpace? Astonishingly it is, although while that particular social networking site may have fallen into obscurity, the same cannot be said for the London-based quartet who play a bespoke brand of invigorating instrumental alt-rock. 

Their last full-length studio release, 2018’s The Euphoric, was viewed by many fans and critics alike as their finest album up to that point. However, in the five years since that record, a lot has changed within and without the band. There was Covid, of course, and, more personally, guitarist Matt Stevens’ cancer diagnosis and subsequent recovery, both of which understandably slowed the band’s momentum to a near halt. Perhaps it was the enforced break and events closer to home, but it’s been a time in which the band have evolved and grown. 

While the line-up – bassist Kevin Feazey, Steve Cleaton and Stevens on guitars, plus drummer Stuart Marshall – remains intact, there’s a big change this time around. The introduction of Feazey’s lead vocals for the first time on a TFATD album brings in the most obvious revision of the band’s sound, prompting the question, from this listener at least: what took you so long, guys?  

It takes only 16 seconds for the new sound to appear on the appropriately titled album opener, The Start. A quick-building march, whose call-to-arms lyrics have strong suggestions of rebirth and going forwards, it could stand as both soundtrack and metaphor for their own reinvention. The pounding riffs that have endeared them to so many are also present and correct as the album’s pace gathers with the steamrolling Shake The Jar and The Golden Thread’s grinding chords. 

Throughout they lean into myriad influences from psych, surf, stoner and metal to fashion taut songs with glorious, air-punching choruses, while the wistful Photogenic Love sees them successfully flirt with 80s pop. Additional keyboards expand the sonic reach and colour the music, as does the inspired use of parping sax on the punchy Wonderful and the album’s best track, Non Player. A pensive exploration of coping with the weight of uncertainty, it’s a song for the ages that includes a short, simple ascending guitar solo whose devastating emotional clarity speaks louder than any amount of mile-a-minute shredding. 

Entering a new phase of their creative contract both with each other and their audience, News From The Invisible World sees TFATD taking a bold step forward.

Buy here.