Peter Layman – Guitar/Vocals
Pierre Carbuccia Abbott – Bass
David Fylstra – Drums
01 – Urnfield
02 – Salve Curator
03 – Feral Wraiths
04 – Way of the Sea
05 – Sectarian Hilt
Portland blackened sludge/post-metal trio Flood Peak is ready to present a new record called Fixed Ritual in the beginning of 2021. The trio is releasing a really dark and depressive mini-album, evoking menacing thoughts and feelings, which haunt us in our worst moments.
Urnfield leads the listener into the tone of album very well with its dejecting, desperate lyrics and generally gloomy tone. The rhythm of the song vaguely reminded me of a pendulum, swinging back and forth – with no sign of changes. And with this feeling the desperation falls even deeper into the soul of the listener. The ending of the song adds uneasiness and anxiety with the guitar sound, which reminds me of an alarm siren or funeral church bells. The second option, if you take lyrics into account at this point, is even creepier.
Salve Curator breaks the “pendulum” feeling because of its sometimes uneven, broken, chaotic drums. But in the same time that drum sound enforces the anxiety. It feels like something is wrong. The energy of the song is much higher than of the opening one, it’s more powerful and dynamic, but both vocals and instrumentals doesn’t give the sense of freedom. And the lyrical part supports the idea of something or somebody scary being caged and waiting for the release.
The sense of vague danger grows in Feral Wraiths with its weird, slow, exaggerated sound. The time itself freezes in this song, something unknown but menacing is crawling steadily in its sluggishly floating melody.
The last two songs I would call my favourites, since they are tied together very closely and I couldn’t choose one of them. Way of the Sea and Sectarian Hilt are one huge earthquake with frantic peaks and short periods of calmness. Since the beginning of Way of the Sea, the rhythm slowly intensifies to the peak, and then drops, and rises again in the Sectarian Hilt to the higher level than before.
The thought that came to my mind later was that those two songs, and the whole record, remind me of some mental disease – bouts of anger alternate with depression, levels of power rise and fall. And the whole dark and sombre mood of the album only supports that general feeling of sickness.
It’s definitely a good album and if you are a fan of the genre – and depressive music in general – I would recommend giving it a try.