01. Accompanied By Death
03. Culture of Fear
04. Accelerate of Die
05. Stamp of Credence
06. Survival Scars
08. Soul Consumer
09. Both Blood
10. Gates to Nowhere
11. Lost in Black
2007 Lifeforce Records
The information that came with this CD tells me that Fear My Thoughts have been around for nine years, but Vulcanus is my first exposure to this German band. This album is the band's first for Century Media and, judging by their sound, they have found a good home.
Fear My Thoughts have put together lengthy slab of melodic metal with their newest album, and I can see that this would appeal to many metal listeners. Even though they wear their influences on their sleeves, these gentlemen do a fairly good job of standing on their own. The guys in Fear My Thoughts owe a great deal to their neighbors to the north, because Vulcanus has a very Swedish sound. I wouldn't call this album a complete rehashing, but it's hard to separate the obvious influences from the very competent performance laid out here.
Driven by dual-guitar melodies, Vulcanus is everything you'll need from a melodic metal album. It still retains a very heavy quality, while exploring soaring melody and staying dynamic with varying song structures. That's probably my favorite aspect of this album. Some songs are quite upbeat, some mid-tempo, and some, such as "Culture of Fear" are a good deal slower. For me, this is essential in holding my attention throughout an entire album. There is a ton of chunky, staccato riffs beefed up by a pounding rhythm section. I can hear a major Soilwork influence (think A Predator's Portrait or Natural Born Chaos). Keyboards and electronics, added by outside musician Kim Oelsen, also reinforce this influence. There is also a more straightforward sound that brings to mind In Flames and maybe even Children of Bodom. Some slower, chunky parts could probably be construed as breakdowns, but there's really nothing hardcore about this album. "Survival Scars" has major At the Gates influence, with some speedy riffing and tempos, yet it's still dynamic enough to introduce a slower, melodic pace near the end. It's worth noting that Schmier and Mike Siffringer of Destruction make appearances on the track "Accelerate or Die," which is a standout song.
The vocal approach is rather varied. The listener is presented with a standard midrange scream, higher shrieks, lower roars, and deep, melodic singing (another similarity to Soilwork). The vocals are just as powerful as any other part of this performance. The melodic singing isn't very prevalent, really only used for only select song. Meanwhile, Vulcanus has bold production. Everything is crystal clear and powerful. Honestly, this is pretty much the production sound I've come to expect from this style of metal.
Bottom Line: I seriously doubt that Vulcanus is going to break down any walls. That being said, it'sa good metal record. People that enjoy melodic metal, or are turned off by the directions Soilwork and In Flames have taken, could find something to enjoy about this album. The sound is big, the structures are dynamic, and the performance is well-executed. Fear My Thoughts have made an album that I could reach for more often than not.