Don't hold the six-word band name against Fear Before the March of Flames. The Denver band is neither indie rock nor attempting to cash in on a trend. However, FBTMOF does have one clear influence: hardcore genre-definers Converge. Until 2004, Converge had been MIA for three years, so it's not all that surprising that bands wanted to fill the void. But FBTMOF isn't ripping anyone off; eventually, the band will stand beside Dillinger Escape Plan and Converge as creative metalers, thanks to the fresh and inventive audio acrobatics on Art Damage. Despite fast screaming and layered vocals, listeners can still follow singer David Marion's commentary on capitalism, the problems with the Los Angeles ideal, and society as a whole. The second track, "Should Have Stayed in the Shallows," is good enough to take the wind out of you. With its debut, FBTMOF has stepped up, knocked us down, and claimed our eardrums as its own. It's okay, though. You'll thank them.
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