Core Device - Our Fellowship Eternal
Heavy / Thrash / Power Metal
11 songs (55:08)
Release year: 2004
Core Device
Reviewed by Ken
Album of the month

I was asked to review this CD a while back by member over at the Devin Townsend forum. Sure, I thought, I'm always down to hear new music, but I definitely didn't expect something so damn good! This is one of the best metal CDs I've heard in a long, long time and definitely a band that metal fans need to hear. They're likely better than some of your favorite bands!

Core Device is from New Jersey, they've been around since 1996 and Our Fellowship Eternal is their first full-length album following three demo EPs that are sadly no longer available. They’ve been getting a lot of attention this past year after sharing stages with heavy-hitters like Iced Earth, Nevermore, Overkill, Symphony X, King Diamond, Fates Warning, and even Morbid Angel. They’re currently gearing up for their first international tour that will take them to Japan through January/February of 2006; pretty impressive for a band that is still unsigned. And knowing those crazy, metal-obsessed Asians, Core Device is going to come home with an army of new fans, and deservedly so.

Before receiving the CD I'd not heard the band before. I expected a metal album, of course, possibly even cheesy power metal as the album title sort of suggests a band that pays tribute to all things Lord of the Rings—which they do not, for the record—but instead, to my extreme pleasure, what I got was a killer technical metal album with power metal, thrash and a little death metal thrown in the mix for good measure. If I were asked to compare Core Device to any other band I would easily suggest Nevermore. They show a bit more power metal tendencies than Nevermore, and are probably a little more melodic overall, but they are very similar in style, and the singer, Daniel Dunphy, sounds far too much like Warrell Dane to come to any other conclusion. That’s quite a comparison to live up to, right? Well, they surely deserve that comparison. The musicianship and vocals on this album are amazing! Unfortunately I have two minor complaints about this CD and one of them involves the vocals. I love how they’ve incorporated some heavier vocals here—along with the more traditional metal/power metal vocals—but sometimes—not every time—the heavier vocals seem a bit too rough compared to the rest of the vocals and music. Luckily, the heavy death-like vocals are not overdone and they are used sparingly and intelligently, a concept a lot of bands are lost on these days.

Now let’s get to the important stuff: There is not one bad song on this CD, and you'd be hard-pressed to find even an average song on here. For the most part, these are all superb tracks, well crafted, catchy and lyrically thought-provoking. The solos aren't mindless and simply there for the sake of showing off the guitarists' skills, they fit the song emotionally and they add to the music the way a solo should: Never too long, never too short, always perfectly fitting into the mix. The bass is very unique to the mix, not constantly just playing copycat to the guitars, but standing out like Greg Christian's bass lines did on Testament's albums before he left the band. The foundations of the songs are pounded out by a very capable drummer; double bass, insane fills, and precision dynamics keep this CD from losing any rhythm at all. The songs themselves aren't too technical to the point where you get lost trying to figure out where the song is going, and on the flipside the songs aren't structured in the standard verse-chorus-verse setting; there are quiet interludes, bridges, breakdowns, and vocal departures in almost every song that only add to the song’s dynamics, keeping them fresh and interesting. The production, like the music, is top-notch. You cannot ask for a better sounding CD from an unsigned band, but this might not surprise you when you find out that Michael Romeo, guitarist of Symphony X, mixed and produced the album. Well, actually, that probably does surprise you.

Everything about Our Fellowship Eternal is quality and aside from my slight complaint about the vocals the only other complaint I have is about the cover artwork. Being a huge Travis Smith (Seempieces) fan, I cringe at bad artwork in this day and age. The artwork in question is just very pixellated like it was a small picture blown up too big for its own good. But in the end that's really no reason to complain, it’s just a personal pet peeve of mine. Being an artist myself just makes me very critical when it comes to these things. Regardless, I encourage everyone to check this band out because Our Fellowship Eternal is virtually flawless!

AUDIO: Our Fellowship Eternal

Note: In time these links will likely becoming outdated.

Killing Songs :
All of them. Take your pick!
Ken quoted 95 / 100
1 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 38 replies to this review. Last one on Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:04 am
View and Post comments