A truly cosmopolitan act, Parisian four-piece unit Fiend culls members from as far from France as Serbia and Kyrgyzstan, and though they’re already looking to record the follow-up to 2009’s Agla — which at just over a half-hour in length straddles the line between EP and LP — the Sleepy tones of these five tracks are worth noting before that comes about. If you caught one word in that (not so holy) mountain of a sentence, I hope it was “Sleep.”
Agla, the band’s first outing both overall and for Trendkill Recordings, heavily indebted to the Bay Area’s progenitors of the new generation of stoner metal. You can hear it in the first riff of “St. Helens,” and certainly in the vocals of Heitham Al-Sayed, who sometimes works a more drawn out melodicism into his voice à la Jesse Leach’s work in Seemless, but keeps a steady flow of Cisnerosisms in the snailishly-paced “The Worm King.” If they were the first or only band to do it, it would be a surprise and maybe a flaw in the record, but since off the top of my head I can think of at least six other bands who put out albums in 2009 as much in the vein of Sleep as Fiend, it’s hard to hold it against them.