I woke up in the middle of the night and glanced at my phone to see how many hours I had left to sleep. Unfortunately, there were not enough hours left. But, on the bright side, I had a notification that Fight the Fury’s EP dropped and was ready for download. Afflicted by a clumsy fog, I fumbled with my phone until my thumb found the download button. A few hours later, as the sun climbed gingerly into the cloudy sky, I sat in my car listening to the EP. The windows fogged up, iced seemed to crystallize on the edges of the windshield as my speakers pumped out heavy rock music. I got through the twenty-one minute album two and half times before her boss showed up late. And I was impressed.
Before jumping into my review, I want to state that my goal is to keep the references to Skillet at a minimum, nor do I want to speak about John Cooper a lot. This review is about Fight the Fury. Plus, Fight the Fury and Skillet are two different bands. Even at Skillet’s “most hardcore”, they were not as heavy as Fight the Fury. However, people seem rather determined to compare this band to Skillet and invoke John Cooper’s name like he is some rock deity.
With that being said, I feel people are going to question “how does Fight the Fury compare to Skillet?”. This is a justifiable question. I feel confident saying they don’t really fit into the category. Skillet has always been somewhere within the“rock”, perhaps “hard rock” side of the spectrum. Fight the Fury is more firmly in the realm of “metal”. This has more to do with musical elements present in both band’s music than straight “heaviness”.
Some people posted “reviews” on iTunes after only listening to the single. Since this was before the EP was released, I treated these like YouTube comments. Seemingly they were full of hope, as the consensus was that “John Cooper was finally writing good, heavy music once again”. I did not find Skillet’s last album “bad”, it was certainly different. But, to my surprise, this EP is actually pretty intense and fun.
Fight the Fury is classified as “rock” according to iTunes, but their sound is saturated with all the elements of a good metal song: crunching guitars, a fun drum track and some pretty slick guitar solos. And yes, John Cooper lets loose with his screaming again.
I took a chance with this EP. I didn’t find “My Demons” too exciting. It was fun, but it did not have the snazzy “wow factor”. It kind of felt like a plain hard rock song. The rest of the EP made up for this. The other tracks have a raw edge tinged with seeds of frustration. Both the lyrics and the music feel like they are not content with the world. This is fitting, given their religious affiliation.
Overall, Still Breathing is a fun, heavy, EP. The instruments are very enjoyable for fans of heavier music. They are thoroughly “metal”, you might say. The vocals match this perfectly, while not straying too far from being radio friendly. Arguably, they ride the line in some cases. The biggest critique I have to offer is the length and lack of diversity: all the songs are “fast ‘n’ heavy”. There are no slower tracks or mid-paced ones. However, this does not sink this album, especially because it’s just an EP, not a full length album.