Live Album Review: The Fierce and the Dead – Field Recordings

The Fierce and the Dead - Field Recordings

I’ll make a bold statement here and say that London-based Prog Rock quartet The Fierce and the Dead are one of the best contemporary Prog bands out there. The English band has two studio albums, and two EP’s released under their belt.

Field Recordings is TFATD‘s first live album which was recorded during the band’s performance at the Ramblin’ Man Fair on 24th of July, 2016, and according to the six songs they performed that day, this band is killing it live.

Hearing mind-bending arrangements conjured in-studio goes far enough, but there’s always the nagging knowledge that the various layers were recorded one at a time; each musician’s individual proficiency is strained to its limits, but there’s little telling whether they would ever be able to pull it off live. The ultimate measuring stick of musicianship is the live arena. With that in mind, Field Recordings is, in many ways, a confirmation of what was only ever implied by The Fierce and the Dead‘s studio recordings. By some miracle of organization, TFATD were able to replicate the wild instrumental eclecticism; whatever changes they’ve made to the arrangements were done to make it refreshing rather than convenient.

The band also performed a new song at the show, titled “Verbose,” from their upcoming studio album which, according to this live version, promises a lot when it comes to the upcoming release. The inclusion of Hawkwind‘s “Brainstorm” at the end of their set is a great move, and it sounds absolutely amazing.

Although short, there are plenty of moments on Field Recordings that leave me with a sense of awe and wonder: how in the hell did they do some of this stuff? The Fierce and the Dead demand respect on the merit of their technical capacity, and I don’t think any other release of theirs demonstrated it quite so well.

Field Recordings is available from Bandcamp here. Follow The Fierce and the Dead on Facebook.

Tracklist:

1. Magnet In Your Face
2. Ark
3. Dancing Robots
4. Verbose
5. Palm Trees
6. 666…6

Line-up:

Matt Stevens – guitar/loops
Steve Cleaton – guitar
Kev Feazey – bass
Stuart Marshall – drums

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