Dragged to the Altar

1. Once Inside The Tomb
2. Altar Of Necromancy
3. Judas
4. Welcome To The Graveyard
5. Howling
6. The Deathbog
7. Graverobber
8. The Curse Of The Casket
9. Behead The Crucifix
10. Malevolent Summoning
11. Outro

Hook - Vocals
Valmer - Bass
Damien - Drums
Svarte Petter - Guitars
Big Mac - Guitars



Drums and vocals recorded at Studio Spiff
Guitars and bass recorded at Riverhill Studios
Mixed and mastered by Ronnie Björnström at Enhanced Audio Productions
Photos by Jesper Stenmark
Artwork and layout by Necromantic Art

Released 26/4-2011
Reviewed 29/5-2011

ibex moon

Before playing this album, I hadn't found a single album from Ibex Moon Records that I like. There's mostly too much... noise and too little... music that comes from their direction. After playing this debut album from Feral ten times I can't say I've found one, but it's definitely getting closer.

A feral organism is one that has changed from being domesticated to being wild or untamed. In addition to the meaning of the word feral described here, from Latin fera, "a wild beast", the word has a second unrelated meaning, from Latin feralis, "belonging to the dead", "funeral". But Feral is a word that also can be applied on humans. A feral child (also, colloquially, wild child) is a human child who has lived isolated from human contact from a very young age, and has no (or little) experience of human care, loving or social behaviour, and, crucially, of human language. Often, these child have been raised by beasts and since I think a band name ought to symbolise something more than just sounding cool, I can't help wondering if these five Swedes have been left in the woods to be raised by bears or something and just recently returned to civilisation for the recording of their wild language on an album, which is why we're here today. It might sound a bit preposterous, but if you listen to this album it's not entirely impossible.

But let's not joke about wild children (even though it is indescribable funny with Feral children), let's talk this album. What we have here is the debut from a band that's struggled to release a full length debut since the mid 00's. Even though they started as a laugh (just like feral children) they sound more or less like any and every death metal band on this debut. It's heavy and with growls. They have fast drumming and hammers the bass. And they play the entire album in almost one and the same tempo from start to finish, which is a semi fast mid tempo. he lyrics feels stereotypical, which is reflected on the song titles, and overall I can't find anything in particular that makes Feral stand out and noticeable in the mass of death metal. They are five long-haired guys, that seems to have rolled around in mud before taking their band photos, with ingenious names like Hook and Damien; as well as Svarte Petter (black peter), Valmer and Bic Mac which feels like names only a death metaler can find funny. The album cover is black and seems to be some sort of prison crypt or something similar to that. And it seems like they want us to tick of every box in our check list with their more or less unreadable line logotype.

By now, more or less every Feral fan are thinking I'm the biggest dick on this planet saying this completely unique death metal band sounds just like most other bands in the genre. You're thinking that I'm completely ignorant on the genre, that I don't understand this kind of music and if anything could perhaps spend my time reviewing band like Helloween and U2 or maybe even Glee? Well, that is an alternative but before we take those drastic conclusions, lets dig a bit deeper in to Feral to find out if there actually is anything I find unique with these wild children. What separates Feral from other death metal, if any?

Well, scraping the surface, you'll not find anything particularly different with them. There are songs about graveyards, Judas, random Christianity symbols and death. And, as previously noted, it can't be found in the other attributes either, like their cover, logo or looks and names on band members. The unique that can be found is buried deep within the music and is mostly about the melodies. I can't say it's much that is unique with this album, but momentarily it have really nice melodies that is somewhat unusual to hear in death metal like this. They have a certain amount of groove in the music and it might be about 45 of the 46 minutes that sounds like music we've heard thousands of times, but I'd say about 30 minutes of music we wouldn't mind hearing another time. And then there's also a lot that sounds completely uninteresting as well - things that most death metal bands do and that never works. Such as to just chew the same bass lines over and over, or to make long shouts that doesn't add anything or to repeat the same three seconds of melody over and over... and stuff like that.

I don't think this is the most unique album I've ever heard in my years as music reviewer, but it is the first album from Ibex Moon Records that I'd say is decent without adding something negative to the judgement. If you like death metal the way death metal is defined, then you probably won't dislike Feral. They can stun you with virtuosity and play fast with their guitars but overall it's just one thing they'll do - to rock hard as death with a nice groove filled with tested and well working ideas.


Label - Ibex Moon Records
Three similar bands - Incite/Vader/Bloodbath
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm