Ep Review: BFI – For The Brotherhood
Release date: 2010
Label: Rogue Records America
When thinking of the recent rise in Deathcore acts over the past few years, most of them can be pinpointed to predictable areas on the map, namely in the US or the UK. One of the countries which doesn’t exactly spring to mind for a Deathcore act to be found is Belarus, but sure enough newcomers BFI prove that metal is ubiquitous and just as clear in mind as when it started off 40 years ago. The band’s name stands for “Belorussian Focking Idiots”, for reasons unclear until you give their début EP For The Brotherhood a spin. Placing themselves somewhere between Emmure and Parkway Drive with touches of proper Death Metal, they cut a clear and straight path in the allotted 20-minute, 7-track slot, with plenty of energy to burn.
The intro starts off promisingly with a melodic riff before kicking into a pseudo-breakdown, before an amusing cry of “Are you ready, fuckers? Let’s go!” from vocalist Neganov. The first proper track, “Last Night Together With My Friends”, lets the listener know the band’s intentions fairly quickly: breakdown-heavy chugging with some melodic noodling from Gleb Kondratyuk and Grischenko, backed up by a rhythm comprised of Volchek’s surprisingly audible bass and (presumably brother) Oleg Kondratyuk on the tight drumming. The comparisons to Emmure are fairly inevitable, particularly on the title track, but then BFI will pull out a tapped solo or Gothenburg riff to lighten the mood, such as on my personal favorite “Nothing Is More To Come”, which also sports an echo of Suffocation after the intro. Finally, the band decide to pull out all the stops on “Open Up Wide”, introducing a hilarious audio sample of “Ah fockin’ ‘ate pikeys”*, a strong melodic lead for the chorus and an outro comprising of a choir section.
Throughout the EP, frontman Neganov shifts through two different styles, although not completely equally; often it’s a low growl nodding towards Parkway Drive, other times it’s a shriek reminiscent of Unhallowed-era Black Dahlia Murder. During the bonus track “Ничто Не Вечно” (“Nothing Lasts Forever”) he also indulges in some cleans, although those are best forgotten. Thankfully he sticks with the growling mostly, although it does make it a challenge to decipher lyrics beyond the odd line such as “One life, one soul, one body” and “I’ll never forget your face”.
The main drawback I found on this EP was the sheer number of breakdowns, which didn’t really stick to memory. Although this is not going to contend with Emmure any time soon, BFI still managed to fit in a rather large amount of them around the melodic lines and solos, becoming more apparent with multiple spins. The melodies and faster death metal sections work incredibly well in spicing up the music, and integrating the solos would help each song attain a stronger individual identity.
As a quick blast, For The Brotherhood EP serves its purpose well, but it lacks longevity to make it one to return to frequently. However, BFI have got off on the right foot, and if they keep the creativity flowing into a full-length, then Belarus can proudly add another name to its growing metal scene. For now, Deathcore fanatics should definitely check this out, particularly the two tracks provided, and there’s a band-sanctioned download link available here.
My Grade: 6.25/10
Buy this when:
- you enjoy deathcore such as Parkway Drive and Emmure
- low growls are your kind of vocals
- you hate pikeys*
For those who don’t know, pikeys are another pejorative term for ‘chavs’ in the UK. This is a chav stereotype.