Review by Kristian Pugh
Release date: 12 August 2014
In metal, a band’s first full length tends to bring reactions of one of two extremes. It can either build a large fan-base from the off that will within a few more records time miss the old sounds and use the “they were better when..” phrase that we’re all so fond of. Or it will be a record that the band grow from and laugh at when they have eventually discovered their true sound. For Orange County’s Heartist, Feeding Fiction will be somewhere in between. There are moments of masterful musicianship and moments of less impressive attempts to make as ‘likeable’ a sound as possible in a hope to really get the fan-base growing.
Examples of the latter can be found in both of the record’s opening tracks ‘What Kind of World’ and ‘Black Cloud’ while throughout both Bryce Beckley delivers a steady performance on vocals, the truth is the overall sound of the tracks seem rushed, naïve and predictable. ‘Black Cloud’ in particular, is a song that will be forgotten by the majority as soon as it ends.
The same however cannot be said for the tracks that follow. ‘Skeletons’, ‘Pressure Point’ and ‘Ignite’ are all examples of what Heartist are capable of, and in all honesty, it’s damn exciting. Guitarists Tim Koch and Robby Devito show an incredible ability to dictate the tempo and write the perfect riffs to accompany a scathing Bryce Beckley throughout. ‘Ignite’ is the stand-out track of Feeding Fiction and is the kind of adrenaline pumping sing-along that Heartist could play in their live shows in 10 years’ time and still get a reaction.
Slightly later on in the record and ‘Legacy’ slows down the pace of Feeding Fiction but at the same time delivers the kind of quality that leaves an overwhelming message, that given the right guidance Heartist have the ability to grow from strength to strength. You’ll find yourself repeating the lyrics “All we are is strength in numbers” over in your head for hours after this one, trust me.
The back end of Feeding Fiction does unfortunately slip back into mediocrity in the form of monotonous track ‘Manipulate’ but does actually end on a positive note with songs ‘Set Me Free’ and ‘Demons’ which are two clever and well-crafted songs which will get the pits started and the arms raised aloft. Both show a consistency throughout which can be found wanting at other points in the record.
Feeding Fiction, whilst at some points is fantastic, leaves an overwhelming feeling of frustration. It is clear that Heartist have the ability to have crafted an eleven-song masterpiece, however whilst there are a number of moments of genius overall the record doesn’t carry enough weight and innovation to make a lasting impression. I have little doubt in my mind that Heartist will one day hit the big time, but Feeding Fiction most likely won’t be the record that launches them there.
6 out of 10
- What Kind of World
- Black Cloud
- Pressure Point
- Ready To Change
- Set Me Free