Fero Lux
Some Divine Ashtray


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jacob R. STAFF
April 14th, 2012 | 55 replies | 6,578 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Fero Lux's debut proves that diametrically opposed parts are capable of building off each other when the pen is in the right artist’s hands.

In order to fully understand how Fero Lux’s debut is as much of a success as it is, it’s essential to first examine what deems a mathcore album a classic. If we closely examine Dillinger Escape Plan’s Calculating Infinity (1999), we witness a deft merging of brutal technicality with emotion imbued at every turn. Also on display is We Are the Romans (1999) by Botch, an assemblage of intoxicating riffs injected with a healthy dose of musical theatrics. And The Number Twelve Looks Like You’s Mongrel (2007) could never have been as well-received if the production hadn’t been so immaculate. As is evident from these landmarks, it takes a certain degree of lucidity for an album in the genre to gather praise. It’s also vital to note that there’s a significant difference between an earth-shattering rawness and an album being recorded with a four-dollar microphone in the garage. The inherently messy act of mathcore must be engineered meticulously and delicately, like an engine that could putter out of fuel at the slightest blunder. This is precisely why South Floridian four-piece group Fero Lux have struck out so vastly on their first go at a full-length. They successfully tread this tightrope with minimal casualty, and even end up gaining an unforeseen momentum that only the next torchbearers for the mathcore movement itself are capable of possessing.

The most impressive trait of Some Divine Ashtray is its ability to convey so much emotion through quite mechanistic musical movements. Though there are moments of unbridled mania, the parts always coalesce into a sum far greater. Let’s take, for instance, “The Sun That Eats with His Eyes” and its frenzied cessation a minute deep, and then its resuscitation soon after into a strikingly sophisticated melodic build. This poignant moment underscores one of Fero Lux’s most effective attributes, in that it’s always clear that there’s a method to the madness. A period for every sentence. A dip for every peak.

This beck-and-call style of songwriting is what propels the album forward. We can see through the more math-oriented moments that some heavy passages can be constructed when necessary. The true talent lies in the art of being able to unite these parts to the puzzle with other stylistic variances (and seemingly with ease). The varietal nature of Some Divine Ashtray deems it a listen that never grows tiring, and one that possesses a wide wealth of moments equally powerful, albeit in their own ways. The highlights truly are across the board – the harmonious splendor of “Kulina” offsets the initially dissonant and tightly knit introduction of “Books on Tape” perfectly, for instance – and this proves that diametrically opposed parts are capable of building off each other when the pen is in the right artist’s hands.

With a band taking so many risks and venturing into so many unexplored territories, a couple of glaring flaws become evident with repeated listens. One aspect of the album that dampens its potential is the capabilities of the vocalist. His screams, growls and shrill cries impress in their own right, but the moments of weakness reveal themselves when he attempts to grasp at notes that just aren’t there, like in the sub-par title track. It is always important to remember one’s capabilities, and this is a shining example of how a high degree of ambition can occasionally play out more detrimentally than anticipated. The problem exists not always with the notes sung, but rather emerges from the vocals not being pushed to the forefront. The clean vocals featured in softer sections are often impossible to discern. This leaves an enigmatic air regarding where exactly the album’s emphasis truly lies. His soaring voice has the capacity to glide expressively over the murky hues of the album, but its utilization will continue to drag the group down until more time is spent laboriously in the mixing room.

The uneven mixing and sometimes puzzling vocals serve as only an afterthought in the wake of such a musical mammoth, though, for at the end of the day the most enduring thought regarding Some Divine Ashtray will regard exactly how it arose in the first place. One would be correct in labeling it a mathcore album, but its influences are planted so deeply into the earth of the movement that its roots entangling and coalescing should be of no surprise to anyone. “It Rains” contains a southern elegance that can only be attributed to Every Time I Die, and Greg Puciato himself would be rather pleased with the rollicking introduction of “Mariah’s Last Stand.” Hell, the ending bit of “1968” even sounds like Glassjaw. So while it is necessary to understand the distinctiveness of such a release, it’s equally vital to allow ourselves to be floored at the fact that such a veritable oasis of influences is capable of being compressed into such a tidy package. Fero Lux grasp the tools handed to them by their predecessors, and instead of obediently following the overtired instruction manual they have founded an alternative path for themselves.



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user ratings (20)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Omaha
Staff Reviewer
April 13th 2012


10181 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Originally posted on this fine website, ladies and gents:

http://www.thealtreview.net/

Album's streaming here, check it out for yourselves!

http://fero-lux.bandcamp.com/album/some-divine-ashtray-2

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

Mendross
April 13th 2012


389 Comments


I have Vaos, and the clean vocals suck pretty hard.

Digging: Godflesh - Pure

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
April 14th 2012


10181 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

I honestly don't recall the clean vox on Vaos, but I can say that they're pretty great on here.

Mendross
April 14th 2012


389 Comments


eh maybe I'll give it another listen.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
April 14th 2012


4421 Comments


Good review, mate. Pos'd

Funeralopolis
April 14th 2012


11313 Comments


why don't you 4.5 your review?

Digging: Sugary Sweet Machines - Controlled Breathing

kitsch
April 14th 2012


5107 Comments


This might be a refreshing listen

Eclecticist
April 14th 2012


3863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Originally I had this rated as a 4.5/5 but then I heard the second half of the album and my rating dropped to a 4/5.

Yazz_Flute
April 14th 2012


18781 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Your writing is a bit wordy, but it's really good for the most part. Convinced me to check this out.

Digging: Battles - Mirrored

Eclecticist
April 14th 2012


3863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This was just posted on Fero Lux's facebook page:

My friend Nikko of Therefore, The Flood just informed me that we're on the front page of sputnikmusic.com. Check it out and steal our album!!

Congrats!

Yazz_Flute
April 14th 2012


18781 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The vocals are a little grating at times but this has some great moments.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
April 14th 2012


10181 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Cheers guys :]

Yeah, I do agree that the second half isn't quite as great. I wish that wasn't the case with what seems like every album in the world. And Funeralopolis, it is in need of an update is all :P

Thompson
April 14th 2012


69 Comments


mann SoFlo goin strong

Thompson
April 14th 2012


69 Comments


givin the scene some status

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
April 14th 2012


10181 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Yeah, definitely. They're on a small regional tour right now - I'm going to catch them in Douglasville on may 11th. And I'm actually going to get to talk with them for a bit, which is exciting. :] these guys deserve all the recognition they can get.

dcha
April 14th 2012


990 Comments


Can we stop calling them clean vocals? In my day it was called singing.

Fugue
April 14th 2012


7353 Comments


I wasn't too keen on this when I streamed it the other day, I'll give it a few more spins though. Review is cool.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
April 14th 2012


10181 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Thanks, mutatedfreek! :] it was pretty immediate for me, but it grew most potent around the 3rd listen or so.

And I really don't see the big deal about calling them clean vocals, tbh.

dcha
April 14th 2012


990 Comments


There's no reasoning with the username "OmahaStylee".

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
April 14th 2012


10181 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Good thing I don't have that one, then! ;]



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