FiendBeats – “Loss” pushes at the boundaries of any expectations you bring to it

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FiendBeats is a 23 year old self-taught independent artist/producer from Ontario Canada, who produces, Trap, EDM, Techno, Hip-Hop, Punk Rock, indie, and alternative style music all infused with mood-inducing storytelling. He started his musical career by selling his early beats to others online and eventually got a beat store to expand his reach and work with as many talented artists as possible. FiendBeats also vocal engineers, mixes and masters everything on his own.

His latest instrumental EP, “Loss”, is a mesmerizing blend of ominous, bone-crushing rhythms and shuffling melodies, featuring an impressive carousel of instruments and effects. As the title would imply, the EP is concerned with the devastating tragedies of loss, and is more disturbingly psychedelic and darkly cosmic than anything FiendBeats has done before.

It is important to note that the sentiments and emotions forcing their way through these tracks are not constructed on abstract, or third-person viewpoints. Recently FiendBeats lost both his mom, and mother in law – Sue Wansbrough and Teresa Sowka – hence this EP is in honor of their memories. Expect a harsher, darker sound, but also expect to hear the mark of a producer supremely confident of holding a listener’s attention, regardless of the style of track he has created.

He does so most unerringly on the EP’s opening track, “DESCENT”, which acts as a smoldering intro to this collection.  Crumbling basslines, spiraling synths and crashing percussion is where gravity seems to disintegrate along with any memory of the real world.

It’s a deep dive down the FiendBeats rabbit hole. This leads to “AGONY”, a tumbling trip taking in shards of relentless sonic bombast. An unpredictable soundscape, twisting and turning, that feels like falling into a swampy plague of the unknown.

Sonically, the EP is a surreal time warp that stops off, and starts, in more places than you can think of. The apocalyptic dissonance and dark storytelling clearly baring FiendBeats’ most personal emotions. Not much, if any, of the first half of “Loss” could be described as easy listening, but remembering its conceptual premise, it’s not supposed to be.

Having said that, it’s fair to note that the tones subtly begin to change on “BARTERING”, which rides on a broiling bassline and snippets of melodic synth motifs that are sure to tease the ear. “DISSOCIATION” still pushes at the boundaries of any expectations you bring to it, and to the sounds it mashes and warps, as it builds itself from quiet noise into a sturdy and thumping beat. There’s certainly a level of accessibility here.

What’s unexpected is how the final track, “ANGELS”, comes together, as FiendBeats mixes the organic with electronic – strummed acoustic guitars, meet up with retro pianos, and booming tom-toms, in a sort of sonic heaven, in complete contrast with the opening track.

It’s the sign of an emotional state of being that has reached its culmination. Even at its most straightforward, this remains a challenging and dense recording. In many ways, “Loss” revels in its obvious musical mastery and its emotional explorations, daring the listener to share the journey.

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