Although the Scandinavian countries have been dominating the death metal/black metal field since the '90s, there are plenty of bands playing death metal or black metal (or a combination of the two) in many other parts of Europe. England, Poland, Holland and Greece have all had their share of death metal and black metal activity, and we can't forget about Germany -- a country where many mosh pits have been formed and many odes to the Occult have been written. Germany's Fear My Thoughts had been together about nine years when they recorded Vulcanus, which is best described as death metal/black metal with hints of metalcore/hardcore at times. Metalcore/hardcore isn't as much of an influence as Nordic death metal/black metal, but it's an influence nonetheless -- and it's an ingredient that adds to Vulcanus' overall brutality. That is not to say to say that Vulcanus is an exercise in brute force for the sake of brute force; Fear My Thoughts, for all their skullcrushing intensity, are relatively melodic and not without a sense of nuance. One hears the extreme elements -- a death metal growl, a black metal rasp, hints of metalcore-style screaming -- but one also hears real melodies, some clean vocals (although they are outnumbered by the extreme vocals) and elements of Metallica, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. Vulcanus is an example of what avant-garde jazz artists would call an "inside/outside" approach, the inside being conventional melodies and harmonies, the "outside" being the extreme stuff -- and most of the time, Fear My Thoughts does a good job making the inside and the outside work together in a cohesive, coherent fashion. Occasionally, this 56-minute disc misses the mark, but most of the time, Vulcanus is a respectable, well executed demonstration of what Germany has to offer the death metal/black metal world.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson