April 5, 2019 marked the release of the first full length album from Hungarian quintet Faminehill. After releasing two EPs over the past five years with warm reviews, the band returns in 2019 to deliver an impressive 10 track debut. Ascend clocks in at just over half an hour in length but it is aggressive and full of energy from cover to cover.
The album starts out heavy and in your face with the title track. The song has a feverish pace and shows flashes of excellent heavy vocals over intense riffs with flashes of high-quality cleans. There are amazing breakdowns and transitions on display and I was hooked from the opener. “Rotten Hearts” may be my favorite song on the album as it starts with a solid guitar riff that is quickly passed over to bass, driving the rest of the song. It is another heavy song, but unlike “Ascend” it has a catchy, clean chorus and switches back and forth more frequently.
“Ruin,” released as the lead single, is poised to be the album’s largest track with its incredibly heavy breakdown that transitions into a close where heavy and clean vocals are put forth in unison. “Everchanging” is a palate cleanser for your ear drums, a welcome break and a beautiful melody before transitioning into “Everlasting” that is heavy from the start with attention-grabbing guitar riffs and another captivating bass run. Another track that really grabbed my attention was the album’s closer, “Illusion”. Lasting only a hair longer than 90 seconds, it is the heaviest track on the album and is an absolute explosion from beginning to end. Its heavy feel and quick pace is emblematic of the album as a whole and left me wanting a lot more.
We had the privilege of catching up with Tamas Stefan (guitar/vocals) of Faminehill to talk about the album and the band:
Spinning Thoughts: Ascend is a killer album. Congrats on the early success with “Ruin.” What made you guys choose that track as the first single?
Thank you! Well, we thought that Ruin is the softest way to introduce the album, it starts calmly and gets aggressive later, and it shows every face of the record, in my opinion.
ST: Your music is intense. Not just from a heavy standpoint, but every song has key changes, tempo changes, and seems to go from 0-60 pretty quickly. How do you handle staying in sync with that dynamic live?
This is what we’ve always strived to do. We record a demo of a new song, and then listen to it like 1000 times before we take it to the rehearsal room. Sometimes a song just works from the first time we play it live. Other times it doesn’t, and we need to play it over and over before it really clicks..
ST: Do you guys have plans to take this album on the road? If so, where?
We do, we’ve just returned from a European tour in Italy, Czech Republic, The Netherlands and Hungary. We’d also like to play in Germany, Austria, Poland possibly this year or early next year, we’ll see what we can do!
ST: Where are your favorite places to play? Any specific venues/cities that stand out? Or anywhere you’d avoid in the future?
We are really love to play in Budapest every time, but the best thing is to play at places we have never been before. When we play in a city for a first time, you never know what to expect, and when it turns out great, it’s the best experience.
ST: Was there an underlying motivation/inspiration for the album’s content?
Yes, there was. ‘Ascend’ refers to overcome different feelings which makes our everyday life harder. For all of us in the band, writing this album was very cathartic and really helped us dealing with everything in life, and we hope that listeners will find something similar in our music.
ST: What’s your approach to writing? Is someone the mastermind or is it a collaborative effort?
It is different every time we work on a song, but the main ideas are coming from me musically, and the lyrics are mostly our vocalist Milan. Usually, I start writing a new song, make a demo of it, and the rest of the band jump in. Sometimes I start writing with a riff our guitarist Gergely came up with, so the writing process is not always the same.
ST: If you could tour with any band, who would it be?!
Dream tour would be like this: Ariana Grande, Slipknot, Faminehill. (laughs)
ST: What else do Spinning Thoughts/Metal Thoughts listeners need to know about Faminehill?
We are really thankful to eveyone reading this, and checking out our music. I hope we’ll see everyone soon at a show & we really hope you enjoy the new record.
One thing is for sure, I’d go see Faminehill play with Ariana Grande, regardless of whether Slipknot is there or not! These guys are that good, and I hope they make it to our side of the pond one day. Until then, make sure you check out Ascend, out everywhere now via Famined Records!