PHEAR – The Curse Lives On
April 6, 2020, 2 months ago
A bit odd to have a band’s second release to be of the live variety and even odder that it features an Iron Maiden cover, but not just any cover; it’s the gigantic 13-minute epic “Rime Of The Ancient Mariner”. I think it goes without saying that Ontario’s Phear, well have no fear indeed. The heavy/power thrashers shoot forth eight tracks, six live and two studio recordings (the aforementioned Maiden cut and one new song).
Right from the get-go, the heaving mammoth “Rime Of The Ancient Mariner” rolls in with a spoken word intro before galloping into the tale. The star of the show is vocalist Patrick Mulock, taking on the notes and singing them with vigor and righteous character and I’m sure the man, Bruce Dickinson himself would be proud of the effort. A stellar cover and it’s easy to feel the blood, sweat, and tears and that was put forth to build upon the greatness of the original. The other newbie is “Dirty Work” which takes those tangling rhythms of Queensrÿche and an Alice In Chains vocal approach, making a heavy pronouncement to the listeners. Hopefully this doesn’t get lost in the shuffle and receives proper recognition on a future release.
Onto the live proceedings with six tracks, all taken from their Insanitarium debut and the band is tight, focused, with a sound that lets each instrument shine. Beginner “Don’t Scream” ironically begins with a piercing scream from Mulock to start the metal therapy and twin guitar work takes it from there as Mulock takes a page from the Dickinson book of audience participation, telling the Toronto crowd to “scream for him.” Phear continues the intricate, robust riffing with the diabolical “Motives Unknown” and psychological horror of closer “Regan’s Dream”. “Heaven” is full of bombast with many musical twist and turns and should definitely continue on as a live favorite. A great representation of this Canadian unit; let’s hope for some new material sooner rather than later!