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God Fear None - Envy - 2005 - Sonic Age Records

Track Listing
1. Free Fall
2. Idle Self
3. Eyes Of Hatred
4. 04.24 Hours
5. Momentary Lapse
6. Sons Of Insanity
7. Miseryborne
8. Enemy Within
9. In A Shallow End
10. Death's Design
Wow, this is certainly a surprise. Greece's Sonic Age Records has cut their teeth on classic metal stylings, releasing quality gems from the likes of Overlorde, Hellfire, Valkija, Made Of Iron, and Manilla Road. The label seems hellbent on a quest to discover the very best in underground classic metal, possibly being the best current power metal label in the free world. From out of nowhere comes their newest title, God Fear None and their debut record "Envy". This is completely different from what Sonic Age has been dishing out, with "Envy" being something that Roadrunner Records or one of the majors would release. Not that their is anything wrong with it, it just doesn't fit. It is like wearing two different shoes. But props to the label for mixing it up a bit. If you look back at the early beginnings of Century Media you will see a label that started just like Sonic Age, with a variety of genres explored in depth with their roster. So fellow power metal fans, I introduce you to a new sound from Sonic Age, the more mainstream approach with God Fear None.

As one would expect God Fear None are from Greece, with the band being created from the ashes of SadWings. The band was formed by guitarist Jim Voutsas with the idea to create a more aggressive and intense sound. "Envy" is exactly that, building on the same blueprints drawn up by Shadows Fall, Killswitch Engage, and Soilwork. The band tends to use speed and melody as their primary element, at times almost sounding neo-classical with their precise and calculated leads. For the most part this sort of thing has been done to death, but this group seems to find a little extra spark to add to the familiar mix.

Vocalist/bassist Domenik and "core" vocalist Chronis team up to pull double duty on the vocal front. This is a unique idea and one that seems to work well. Chronis of course seems to hit the lows, with plenty of hardcore styled shouting while Domenik seems to add a bit more texture to the group, allowing some more clean and spoken passages. The combo of Chris Mike and Jim Voutsas is mesmerizing at times, leading into a domain that is very Bay-Area oriented, with plenty of Metallica and Megadeth styled chops coming to light. Founder Jim Voutsas does a superb job behind the control panel, recording, mixing, and mastering this effort and giving it a sound and life that can compete with some of the best producers in the business.

The main idea behind this debut is New Wave Of American Heavy Metal. The band refuses to back themselves into a corner with hip-hop stylings or over the top hardcore. I think the band works well by limiting the aggression to an extent and concentrating more on song structure and arrangements. The melody and guitar licks on here really captivate the band, taking the group's primary objectives and loosening it up a bit. What remains is an excellent album that runs the same borders as today's more "mechanical" bands, but at the same time allows some room for the listener to hear some other things. I think the real ear candy here is the leads and scorching melody. Favorite cuts for me are "Momentary Lapse" and "Death's Design".


--EC 04.30.05
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: GOD FEAR NONE
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REVIEWER DATE
EnvyGod Fear None
2005
Eric Compton5/5/2005


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