G O D F E A R
Godfear - The Empty (Juke Box Media) 1996
of South" (3:21)
I learned of Godfear early, having opened for them in one of my own bands when they were called Transcendence, then again when they changed their name to Godfear. The Transcendence demo was similar in style to Crimson Glory, only a bit heavier. "Know God" was a bit thrashier, in both the music and the vocals. Sean Vargas switched vocals styles fairly drastically, but still sang some, not unlike Phil Anselmo on "Cowboys from Hell". I wore out those first two demo tapes and was anxious for "The Empty". When I first received it, I played it quite a bit, loving the groove based riffs. Knowing these guys, I knew they had a deep fascination with Pantera and Korn's debut. Those influences are definitely felt throughout this disc. Unfortunately Vargas completely abandoned any clean singing in favor of constant screaming. It's unfortunate because he had killer voice and could pull of Geoff Tate or Midnight in a heartbeat. On "The Empty", however, he screams in a hardcore manner throughout. Despite my disappointment in the vocal approach, there are still some fantastic songs. "Spare the Rod" is my favorite of the bunch. It is absolutely pummeling and has a killer Pantera vibe. Blast that one in the morning for an energy rush instead of a cup of coffee. "Glory" is the one song that Sean does sing in. The song is a mellow praise ballad, and is actually a great song. That guy can sing, too bad he didn't use it some more. The cover above is the Juke Box Media re-issue. The original indie cover is similar but not as professional.
Godfear - Pound for Pound (independent) 1997
1. "My Swollen Eye"
Continuing in the Pantera mode, Godfear cranks out their last offering. These guys are stinking INTENSE, epecially the crunchy guitar tones and the over-the-top vocals. There are a few songs that let up for a bit however, like the surprisingly mellow acoustic guitar instrumentals "Unblack" and "Ill." Mike Swint is a talented guitarist with diverse abilities. The same could be said of vocalist Sean Vargas, who can scream with the best of 'em at one moment then switch over to an incredible singing voice the next.