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Core Device: Our Fellowship Eternal

Here's a CD that took my by complete surprise. New Jersey's Core Device have crafted a strong metal sound on Our Fellowship Eternal that drips of influences from Nevermore, Iced Earth, and Fates Warning, yet has plenty of originality to warrant merit on its own accord. Produced with the assistance of Symphony X's Michael Romeo, Our Fellowship Eternal is chock full of intricate & heavy riffs, tasty leads, pummeling rhythms, and the soaring lead vocals of Daniel Dunphy, who also handles the keyboards. This guy can hit the high notes as well as the lower register, as he does so well on "Hell and Torment", but it's his range and ability to match the tempo and tone of the song that works so well. Sure, he sounds a bit like Warrel Dane from Nevermore, but he changes pitch more often than Warrel does these days, which is a plus in my book for Dunphy. However, every so often he throws in some death metal shouts which sound a little out of place, especially on the song "Burning Away". This type of vocal style doesn't really fit in with the nature of Core Device's music, but thankfully he doesn't use it too often.

The guitar work-well, that's the meat and potatoes of this CD, and the duo of Patrick Kehoe and Tony Nocera don't disappoint in the least. With all the histrionic vocals and crashing cymbals, these guys manage to hold everything together with muscular riffs that constantly bash and churn, whether they be straightforward riff-ola like on the atmospheric "Stranger" or complex passages that are heard on the bombastic prog-metal of "Unknown Tears". Romeo's studio talents I'm sure also had a lot to do with the great sound of the guitars, as they are crisp and heavy throughout the CD.

It will be interesting to see if Core Device can take the strong elements that make up Our Fellowship Eternal and go to the next level. My guess is there will be some interest from a few metal labels looking to scoop these guys up. They have the tools, and I predict on their next release things will really start to fall into place for them even more so than here.

Track List
1. Shadows mind
2. Our fellowship eternal
3. Forgetting
4. Hell and torment
5. Stranger
6. Green water
7. One path
8. Unknown tears
9. God and man
10. Burning away
11. Torn from within

Added: December 25th 2005
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Core Device Website
Hits: 3553
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Core Device: Our Fellowship Eternal
Posted by Murat Batmaz, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-12-25 06:06:34
My Score:

Core Device has been around for almost a decade now, but Our Fellowship Eternal is their first full-length release. Judging by the packaging, which is quite good, this is obviously a self-released disc encapsualting the classic American style power metal fury of bands like Barlow-era Iced Earth, Nevermore and perhaps the first two Fates Warning albums with John Arch. Vocalist Daniel Dunphy's voice certainly shares common traits with that of the amazing Matt Barlow, except that Barlow's voice has more of a presence to it. Some songs also bring to mind Nevermore's Warrel Dane when he sings in a baritone range and refrains from hitting higher notes.

Out of the eleven songs, it could be roughly described that about the first couple of tracks are more thrash-induced pieces, akin to classic 80's old school thrash. The bands hits into gear right off the bat with the powerful first track "Shadows Mind", one of their longest works too, and introduces a throaty, midrange singer that switches between clean vocal harmonies and somewhat death metal-ish grunts, but they are few and far in between. The gloomy title track demonstrates the darker and more melancholic side of the band, focusing on a moody intro, grey acoustic guitars, some keyboards interjected into the background, and awesome sweep arpeggios on the guitar by both Patrick Kehoe and Tony Necora. A smooth shift into a more power metal-driven zone, displaying clever key and tempo changes, evokes early Fates Warning and Crimson Glory and this is one of the best songs on the album for sure. Iced Earth's trademark galloping riff stlye is heard aplenty on the more modern "Hell and Torment", while "Stranger" is another diverse cut with subtle keyboards, great twin guitar leads, and a deep contrast between thrash-laden and atmosphere-laced passages.

From here on, the album takes on a more power metal side, though they continue to incorporate their classic thrash moments invariably. Thundering drums, huge gallop riffs, and cutting lead solos all emphasize Dunphy's vocals, which seem to get better with each listen. The growling bass on "One Path" matches his semi-growled vocals that also display his clean, regular voice. Exotic scales are married with Bay Area thrash on the experimental "God and Man" and definitely make for an interesting combination. The richly bass accentuated "Burning Away" is full of epic chunks of rhythm and even a beautiful female vocalist that sings back-up towards the end. More a capella vocals are available on the last track "Torn from Within" during a silent midsection before the song launches into a punishingly heavy power metal number. With Our Fellowship Eternal, Core Device have put out a very good release that should appeal to fans of heavy metal that borders on both thrash, power, and even progressive at times. I think it's worthy to note that Michael Romeo of Symphony X helped record, mix and engineer this disc as well. Let's hope their following disc comes out soon.

» Reader Comments:

Core Device: Our Fellowship Eternal
Posted by mistress2metal on 2011-03-01 19:15:46
My Score:

Update! The guys got picked up by Heaven and Hell Records just a few months back. They have a new full length album due out this month and are currently taking preorders. I'm sure they'd love an updated review of "What I've Become" - If you want to check it out, look them up on youtube. There are a few songs from the new album up. Thanks!

Core Device: Our Fellowship Eternal
Posted by Erin Zinarri on 2009-01-14 22:19:03
My Score:

I bought this cd because of your high praise. This IS my favorite cd of all time and I cant thank you all enough for bringing it to my attention.

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