"Jezebel's Dream" (Bethany Records/Terror Productions)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

"Jezebel's Dream" is a debut album from the group FOG that has risen from the ashes of Fear Of God. Fear Of God, which had its heyday in the early to mid -'90s, was fronted by lead vocalist Dawn Crosby. When Crosby passed away in 1996 the band decided to carry on under the moniker FOG. (2016 Update: Apparently this band has changed its name to Serpents Aria and re-released this album.)

FOG plays an ambitious brand of death metal with gothic influences that allow the band to appeal to all fans of extreme heavy music. The nine tracks on "Jezebel's Dream" cover the spectrum of death, doom, atmospheric, and black metal genres in a way that neither style dominates - I'm a bit surprised that any band would be daring enough to pull it off, but FOG does in grand style. 

The flowing and effortless switches FOG make between death, doom, black, and atmospheric metal styles is as enticing as it is impressive.  Musical highlights include the carnage-inducing "Entrainment," the somber "Three Days Of Darkness," the haunting "Infrablack/Mourning Light," and the accelerated dirge of "Prisoners Of The Flesh." I am particularly fond of the title track; this track exhibits right-between-the-eyes power and is a true marriage of death metal and atmospheric metal.

The vocals alternate between guttural grunting and more melodic chanting phases. The lyrics avoid clichés and seem to paint a picture in a way that a screenplay writer might turn a novel into a movie script. Of course, plenty of horror-styled images abound - a sort of nocturnal misery for the downtrodden, if you will. 

FOG can rightfully take their space next to great mid-Atlantic death metal talents such as Garden Of Shadows, Forty Days Longing, Deceased, Pessimist, and Ciborium. And here's an interesting historical note: former and current members of Dying Fetus, Agent Steel, Pessimist, Wrathchild America/Souls At Zero, Lizzy Borden, and Crowbar at some time or another were part of FOG precursors Fear Of God and Ditente. Even renowned producer Ross Robinson played in Ditente. 

"Jezebel's Dream" was produced by Mike Bossier and FOG. The production standards of "Jezebel's Dream" exceed most bands in the genre. The sound is at once both dark and explosive - a very remarkable accomplishment.

FOG is John C. Childs on vocals, Cypher on guitars and keyboards, William Hayden on guitars, Michael Schafer on bass, and John Grden on drums. 

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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