From Surface To Suffocation

Written by: PP on 15/09/2010 17:38:35

I've never really understood the point in intentionally misspelling a band name in a hopeless attempt to seem 'cool'. In this instance, if the idea was to call your band a substance that is capable of flowing, why not just call it Fluid instead of adding an additional w in there to cause confusion? I see what you did there, *sigh*. Name criticism aside, however, Fluwid are an entirely decent old school metalcore outfit (is that still a paradox?) from Dayton, Ohio, whose sophomore album "From Surface To Suffocation" largely follows the ideas and sounds left behind by the early metalcore scene of the 2000s.

That should already tell you a couple of things about Fluwid's sound. For starters, they rely largely on anthemic clean vocals, using the gruff, screamed verse vocals sparingly, usually in places where an additional degree of heaviness is needed to support the sound. The choruses are fairly catchy, but not overwhelmingly so, and bear significant resemblance to those by Killswitch Engage from the early points of their career. Particularly the vocalist sounds quite similar to Howard Jones throughout the album. Secondly, given how nu-metal was the dominant force back then, Fluwid's sound also integrates many elements from the nu-metal sound: the crunchy, simplistic guitars and the clean vocal dynamic in the verses should remind you of a number of bands from that era. These characteristics are, however, seamlessly integrated to an otherwise clearly metalcore sound, where piercing guitar leads and melodies dominate the sound.

The fact that nearly every song on the album features both solid riffing and a catchy chorus proves that Fluwid are good songwriters despite a tendency to re-hash formulas heavily recycled in the past. But even brilliant songwriting is not going to help you when your production flat out sucks. Whether intentionally so or not, the production is strangely hollow and echoing, leaving the guitars sounding soft and a little bit flat in places, not to even mention that they're too high in the mix as opposed to the vocals. On one hand, it creates quite a unique sound to them, but frankly, it just doesn't sound very nice to the trained ears. Fix the production, and support slots on the next Killswitch tour shouldn't be out of the question.

Download: Room 25, Six Demon Bag, The Phoenix
For the fans of: Killswitch Engage, Avenged Sevenfold, Shadows Fall
Listen: Myspace

Release date 08.06.2010

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