by Brandon Carson
Back in 2018, Alaria Spurling, lead guitarist and vocalist of Four Fates, needed three people to back her up for a tiny music festival in Bloomington, Indiana. This led to the formation of a band. Some of the songs they performed at this festival would end up being on their EP. After playing a show at the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis, the band began working on Realms, which released April 6. On this EP, a completely unique sound emerges as Spurling sings about sadness and trouble. Ian Chambers brings his own flair to the songs with his excellent drumming, Evan Tusing adds an Alter Bridge style to the guitars, and Adam Schaefer completely nails his bass lines. However, Realms’ faults lie in the production and a tiny bit in the structure.
A unique sound
A lot of rock/metal music today is bland and overdone. Simple song structures, predictable lyrics, and bland instrumentals take over the radio for this genre. But in this EP, Spurling creates an interesting sound, a great voice, and a variety of guitar lines and riffs. Each song sounds different, from the heavy alt metal tracks like “Drown Me” and “Miniature Goddess” to the straight up bangers of “Sweetheart” and “Tinfoil Hat Territory” (which is a fantastic song name, mind you). Each song has fun and interesting guitar lines delivered by both Spurling and Tusing that provide a lot of flavor; for example, “Miniature Goddess” is full of them. The melodies for the choruses are catchy and unique, with beautiful delivery by Spurling. Chambers adds to the sound with his double-bass driven style, incredible grooves, and a good use of fills that sound straight out of an Avenged Sevenfold album. The influences are very clear, like the Coheed and Cambria sound that shines through on “Sweetheart,” but Four Fates did a great job of keeping their influences in the background while pushing their own sound. However, while I do appreciate how each song sounds different, some choices are confusing. “Ghost (Phase II)” starts off very dark with a great bass line, but is flipped completely upside down by its groovy, beach-sounding guitar chords in the chorus that do not make any sense. They are very abrupt and probably would’ve sounded better if the whole song was as heavy as the end. “Sweetheart” and “Tinfoil Hat Territory” add a nice change of pace after “Ghost” to end the album with a bang.
A few major and minor problems
Four Fates is a relatively new and unknown band. Therefore, the production is unfortunately not the best. Sometimes the vocals are too quiet, the tom drums cannot always be heard, and at times the guitars are too muddled by the distortion. But this is, of course, understandable and unavoidable due to the band’s limitations. The originality of the band members’ songs and performances are strong enough to make this not overly noticeable. Another problem is the structures of the songs. There is one overused aspect to all of the songs: build-ups. Each song contains a build-up at the end that sometimes works, but sometimes feels overdone. It works incredibly well for “Tinfoil Hat Territory” due to the aggression carried throughout the song, creating a very cathartic moment on the record. On “Ghost (Phase II),” however, it feels insignificant to the song and would’ve worked better if the whole song were heavy in tone. This is a very nitpicky problem to point out, I know, but variety in song structures usually adds to a band’s original sound and would really give Four Fates another one-up (along with originality) on most of the underground bands out there.
Tinfoil Hat Territory
Recommended if you like:
Coheed and Cambria
Featured Image: Facebook
‘Realms’ is a very strong start for Four Fates. It has an original sound and incredible performances. Even with production issues and a formulaic aspect to most songs, I found myself excited for what they will make next. Debuts are make it or break it for a lot of bands, but with ‘Realms,’ Four Fates are far from breaking it.
Brandon Carson is a Journalism Major. He reviews music for Byte and also makes his own music on the side.