The best sludge metal is often mired in nihilistic rage, misanthropy and sheer fuck-it-all attitude. It’s heavier than a herd of elephants riding a gam of whales, if such a thing ever came to fruition. Fister, if you didn’t know, play real heavy sludge/doom metal, and they don’t mess about when it comes to pounding your head with slow megaton riffs and the loud beat of the drums, in much the same fashion as described above.
‘Violence‘ is five different tracks but could well be one track divided into five parts, given the song titles and the fact each song flows into the next one. Vocals are kept to a minimum here, but where they do crop up, they’re as standard for this sort of music – nasty, savage and raw. And save for ‘Violence III: Trail of Tears’, a sparse acoustic, instrumental number, each track takes you further and further into the sonic abyss.
It’s delightfully miserable and the production is perfect for what they’re pitching. They can go long stretches, such as in opener ‘Violence I: Forced Extinction’ where feedback rings out over the heavy boom of the drums, and it sounds just right. It sounds like they could have recorded it in an underground trench with all the rats and other horrors, though its nowhere near lo-fi, much more akin to Eyehategod’s older records instead.
I find it incredible that three records in, Fister are still independent. Maybe they just want it their own way, which is fine. Because they seem more than capable of annihilating one listener after another. ‘Violence‘ is unquestionably their best work yet, but Fister themselves surely know the bar has been set, and is unquestionably more than capable of being bettered.