Angry? Have a dose of Latvian ‘Nu metal’

The Inevitable

As music evolves through the years, listeners often get to hear strange and unexpected hybrids of different genres. One of the most unusual combinations to have become popular in recent years is the combination of rap and metal, sometimes given the goofy “Nu-metal” label. One would have thought that the two styles of music, what with their devout fans and uncomprising musicians, would never have come together. However, because both styles are often outlets for anger and aggression, perhaps it is not too much of a surprise that this style has become very popular in recent years.  The best known group in this style is Rage Against the Machine, but groups like Limp Bizkit and Korn also have incorporated it into their music.

This trend has also taken hold in Latvia, evidenced by the release of The Inevitable by the group F[ei]K. The album is entirely in English and contains all the loud guitars and anger you could possibly need in a rap-metal album.

F[ei]K are made up of Ansis “Rooc” Auders on guitars, Gusts Leimanis on bass, Verners Biters on vocals, Martins Opmanis on drums and Kristaps “Krii” Krievs on “effects” (and who, according to the band’s Web site, has already left the group). Auders founded the group in 1998. The Inevitable is their debut album.

I would have to admit that this style of music never particularly appealed to me. I’m not really sure why, as I have been a devout heavy metal fan for most of my years. Maybe it is because it is simply too much anger and angst to digest. This music is like a sledgehammer to the mind, relentless and unyielding.

This record reminds me a bit of the latest Dzelzs vilks album, as many of the songs seem to follow the same formula: Start off quiet, with some soft vocals and clean guitars, then suddenly burst into screaming vocals and super-distorted and heavy guitar power chords. This does get tiresome after a while.

The opening song, “Egoism” sets the stage for what is to follow. The heavy guitar and bass form a very formidable combo, and with lyrics like “I can’t tolerate you anymore, my misinterpretations ruin my life,” the group is not willing to take any prisoners.

The band’s Web site has this to say about the lyrics: “The lyrics are about the problems and experiences in life, about how other people make you feel.” This is made clear in the song “Sigh,” which contains the lyrics, “You let me down. The teardrop fades on me.”

“Flying” starts off with some interesting guitar effects, while drummer Opmanis gets to shine in the solo opening to the track “The Same.” There is also an instrumental “hidden” track, which is quite different than the rest of the album. Actually, it is mostly just effects strung together, and makes for a rather strange coda to the album.

Liner notes are meager, mainly filled by each bandmember’s thanks. I recommended that the listener visit the Web site to find the lyrics, since most of the singing is either unintelligible or buried under thundering guitars.

The Inevitable unfortunately winds up being a rather ordinary rap metal album. If you are already a huge fan of this type of stuff, you’ll probably like it. However, this album will not make believers of the doubtful, as there is not much to distinguish itself from the tidal wave of bands that play in the same style. There is of course the novelty that they are from Latvia, a place which, not surprisingly, breeds a lot of angst in its youth. Because the album is released by MICREC, it is a professional effort thanks to the production of Tālis Timrots and the band F[ei]K themselves. But the album is best consumed by the very angry and those who could never imagine listening to mellow music.


The Inevitable


MICREC,  2002

Egils Kaljo is an American-born Latvian from the New York area . Kaljo began listening to Latvian music as soon as he was able to put a record on a record player, and still has old Bellacord 78 rpm records lying around somewhere.

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