SINGLE REVIEW: Fear the Concept – “Judge and Jury” [2014]


Artist: Fear the Concept

Single: Judge and Jury


Who are we to say that some people need to die? After all, wishing death on someone, no matter who they are or what they’ve done, is perhaps one of the most severe things one human can will to incite upon another. That said, while it’s tough to say someone deserves to die, it’s certainly clear that there are those who don’t deserve to live. Murderers, liars, cheaters, thieves—all of these bastions of a backwards and corrupt society—are the driving force behind Fear the Concept’s new single, “Judge and Jury,” in which the band’s seemingly boundless aggression finds itself focused, honed and perfected—making them not just judge and jury, but the listener’s executioner as well.

“Judge and Jury” is, above all things, a much more mature effort than fans of Fear the Concept’s previous work might anticipate. On one hand, the production quality of the track is leaps and bounds smoother and clearer than their debut release. However, the shock at the improved clarity and definition of the track doesn’t truly hit the listener until well into the song itself—as the listener is undoubtedly distracted by the array of intense and diverse instrumentation bombarding their eardrums like bombs on Hiroshima. “Judge and Jury” opens with relentless heaviness and grimy, dark grooves that kick and punch at the listener, bruising flesh and breaking bone. These grooves wind around each other—as the fretwork of Zack Haynes and Jonah Hess is practically unparalleled—building atop the listener as if they were stacking dirt on top of their coffins. This pressure finally erupts with the emergence of a crooned, crystal-clear clean vocal chorus that seems to, without warning, alleviate every gram of weight placed heftily upon the listener’s shoulders. This only lasts so long, however, as a renewed, bitter and brilliant vocal onslaught led by Mike Frush sends the track spiraling downwards into an abyss of prolapse-inducing, almost apopleptic series of dissonant, catastrophic breakdowns that leave the listener hopeless and in shambles.

The relentless attack pouring forth from Fear the Concept continues—snowballing—getting more and more dense and malevolent as the track continues, punctuated with occasional clean vocals that give the listener nothing but gilded, false hope. With “Judge and Jury,” Fear the Concept reduce the listener to the purest state of worthlessness, leaving execution as the only option left.



For Fans Of: Gift Giver, Adestria, Fit For a King, Barrier

By: Connor Welsh