Don’t be fooled by their somewhat playful name, I Fight Bears take no prisoners in their guts on the wall style approach to modern metalcore. The Welsh bruisers debut self titled record is a concrete slab of high octane metal precision that is ready made to catapult the quintet into the level of real players in the list of up and coming bands in their genre.
The mid-2000’s blueprint of metalcore which was set by the likes of Trivium, Killswitch Engage, and Bullet For My Valentine is followed almost to a T by I Fight Bears. While this does mean that you shouldn’t expect anything fresh from IFB’s formula; by the same token – if you still find interest in the genre over a decade after its initial mainstream burst then the five-piece are almost certain to light a fire in your stomach.
Sharing more similarities to an early Trivium than anything else; this self-titled record lies you underneath a stampede of quivering riffs and blast beats, with the added dimension of a vocal ebony and ivory too. ‘Hammers’ wastes no time sprinting from the starting point, with a head swinging riff and violent screams of “LET’S GOOOO”. Strap yourselves in for this one.
There’s flex heavy muscle flowing throughout the record, culminating in cataclysmic breakdowns on the likes of ‘Lost The Fight’ and ‘Exhale’, while the beautiful solos of ‘Envision’ and ‘Smoking Gun’ act as the pristine shine and true architecture of the album. It makes for interchanges between heavy and melody that capture your attention in a moments notice.
S/T brings with it the “everyone is welcome here” vibe, and fans of any form of metal can find something within its hardened texture to appreciate. Prolific guitar lines, melody, violence, and a furious rhythm section. This debut record from I Fight Bears brings it all in one hefty package.
For such an early stage in their career, I Fight Bears have done a succinct job of frankensteining together the standout elements of classic bands within their genre. There’s no reinvention of the wheel here and it’s not the finished article; but this self-titled record puts IFB well and truly on the map of metalcore, welcome to the jungle boys.