Having established itself with a series of singles since their 2019 formation, Tasmania’s Fierce Deity takes an epic step forward with Power Wisdom Courage (Self-Released). Having three songs total to a thirty-two-minute runtime puts this release on that weird line between an album and an EP and seeing these tracks sprawl to ten-plus minute lengths results in a release with an epic scope and a compact execution. Fortunately, these seemingly contradictory elements end up coming together well to form an incredibly triumphant work of Stonerized Power Metal.
The skilled musicianship and production of sole player Jonathan Barwick play a key role in making this release as strong as it is. Everything about it sounds vibrant with a strong balance of old school attitude and modern sensibility. The guitar tone has a great deal of heft though not so much that it gets too weighed down, the drum patterns are simple but solid enough to convey a sense of strength, and the vocals have a workman air that makes the melodies more impactful. The synths peppered throughout are also fun, fleshing out a retro-futurist aesthetic.
Despite what the song lengths would suggest, the compositions opt for drawn out executions of mostly linear structures instead of labyrinthine twists and turns. While this approach risks coming out as excessively bloated, a real sense of determination keeps the pace exciting as each track offers a distinct flavor while playing into the grandiose whole. ‘Power’ lives up to its name with that bombastic mid-tempo stride and uplifting melodies, ‘Wisdom’ utilizes the synths quite nicely, and ‘Courage’ puts in a particularly climactic finish complete with rousing dynamic shifts toward the end.
Overall, Fierce Deity has crafted a very inspired mini epic with Power Wisdom Courage. The musicianship would be enough to make this release commendable considering the project’s one-man setup, but the way the songwriting allows for a unified atmosphere and distinct hooks goes a long way. Considering how underdeveloped or overcooked this release could’ve been in lesser hands, its expansive yet contained presentation is satisfying and offers a great deal of replay value. If you’ve ever wanted to hear Grand Magus stretch themselves out, give this a listen.
Buy the album here: https://fiercedeityband.bandcamp.com/album/power-wisdom-courage
9 / 10