Album Reviews

Album Review: FIGHT THE FURY – Still Breathing

ATLANTIC RECORDS | 26 October 2018


FightHeavy music provided the perfect vehicle for JOHN COOPER. For as much as writing for FIGHT THE FURY granted COOPER an opportunity to flex a different muscle sonically, it also brought him full circle. A staunch fan of METALLICA, IRON MAIDEN, SLIPKNOT, and DISTURBED, the artist drew on a lifelong passion for all things heavy. Compiling ideas quietly since 2013, the frontman followed his muse, penning and recording songs on tour in locker rooms, backstage at venues, and on the bus around the globe. Accompanied by SETH during many of these impromptu sessions, he channeled a timeless feeling via live energy, thicker tones, and unfiltered aggression.

“Honestly, it took me back to the roots of why I love music and the way I felt when I first heard metal,” he elaborates. “I didn’t want it to be slick. I didn’t want any outside input. I wanted it to feel like you’re at the show and you’re going to mosh and jump up and down. The lyrics get raw. Of course, I’ll always be in Skillet. It’s my first love, but it’s fun to respond to all of those tweets asking for a heavy record with this,” he laughs. “There’s a lot of emotion and passion in these songs.”

In order to channel that, he enlisted the talents of SETH’S cousin WARD behind the kit and PANZER III who originally auditioned for SKILLET at 16. Additionally, he wrote, produced, and recorded the album himself—even engineering much of it. A D.I.Y. spirit defines the final product.

“I knew if I made this myself, I could have complete creative control,” he continues. FIGHT THE FURY had to have its own identity. I had the freedom to go back to the drawing board and just rock out.”

That’s exactly what the band does on the band’s 2018 debut EP, Still Breathing [Atlantic Records]. The first single “My Demons” hinges on pummeling guitar accented by pinch harmonics as COOPER’s scream gives way to an anthemic chant. It’s a perfect and powerful introduction to the vision at large.


Fight the Fury

MY DEMONS – battling beats with the sustained squawk and chirp of the guitar that’s like a whistle calling you to attention. While I desk-chair-danced, I listened to the drive of the melody that instantly conjured up my demons, lined them all up while I lined up the cross-hairs in the scope and precisely aiming at their dark, beady eyes, started firing my imaginary demon destroyer.  The whole power-punching tempo reckons a radical resolution within, while the chorus skillfully alerts me that I’m not alone…

DOMINATE ME – Shut. Any. Door! The very first 7 seconds of this track plows the melody through the middle of my brain. The sporadic spells spin off the choppy tempo are just heavy enough to sling some mud! I love the guitar solo that hints

STILL BURNING – this song brings to the table is a mix of choppy guitar riffs, electric drops, dramatic vocals, that are all driven by the stout stick of a native bass drum ka-pow that surrounds the whole song like captives in a covered wagon, just long enough to make an impression.


I CANNOT – COOPER’S voice calls the great spirit with the waning whine from the guitars to lift a defiant fist to shake it in the sky. But with this defiance, there is a commonality and familiarity in the lyrics. There are emotional swells between the vocal and the rests within the music mantra that exist eternally with us all, maybe.

LOSE HOLD OF IT ALL – distorted riffs, surprised by that drop change out of the gate on the chorus makes the last track on the EP a standout for me, just because I love those slight modifications of melody, but hold on to your hats, because something happens towards the end, that shakes it all up.

STILL BREATHING samples and showcases what FIGHT THE FURY has managed to do with an energized and plumped up sound that puts them as a new contender that’s primed and ready to challenge anyone in the ring. The KO punches that come out of the drums, echoed and evident in the bass lines, mixed with a heave-ho pull from invoking riffs and melodies from the guitars, are a perfect foundation for JOHN COOPER’S bold lyrics and signature vocal style.

You’re gonna grind this record which will make the anticipation for more from this band that much sweeter down the line, that’s fo’ sho’!

In the end, FIGHT THE FURY’S message exudes a power of its own.

“Letting some of that anger out can be a good thing,” he leaves off. “When I wake up in the morning, all I need to do is turn on some metal, and I’m ready for anything. I want to help listeners deal with their demons and go harder. Whatever you’re up against, I hope this makes you feel good to face it.”

Follow the band on socials:

Look for the release October 26th from Atlantic Records.



Cherri Bird

Independent and selective rock journalist & wordsmith, focused on strengthening the connections between a fan and the bands they follow through the words she writes. Specializing in interviews, music & show reviews, and candid photography; Cherri takes what she discovers and pounds the social media pavement to fuse the energy that music brings us with the bands that create it.

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