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Friend for a Foe

There’s something really remarkable about following a band from inception to record. What we so often see and hear as listeners is a finished product, spontaneously available, without any history or sign of the trials and challenges the band faced while getting there. I can’t claim to be one of the group’s earliest fans, but for the last year I have had the unique opportunity to watch Fairfax, Virginia native Chris Purvis’ experimental metal project, Friend for a Foe, grow and evolve.

From acquiring a vocalist of note (Chris Barretto of ex-Periphery fame), to dealing with revolving-door band membership, recording everything himself, and juggling a career in the U.S. Navy, it would certainly be an understatement to call Purvis a “busy dood.” But it looks like his work has finally paid off. Friend for a Foe have released their long-awaited (no, seriously, it was supposed to be out last February…) Source of Isolation EP through Myriad Records. The album has been made available on their bandcamp in the traditional “pay as you please” format.

It’s a little early to be picking favorites, but even since the demo phase “Sky and the Fall” has held a special place in my heart. If Friend For a Foe were a store, they would most definitely be a butcher shop because this track and EP in general are seriously MEATY. It was originally posted by the band last September as an instrumental demo (and a damn epic one at that) but has now been re-recorded for the EP and features the manic vocal antics of Chris Barretto and Ben Guarino. It’s hard to tell exactly who does what where but the harsh vocals shame just about every other djent vocalist I can think of and the harmonies are nut-rageous. Even if you’re getting weary of the djentleman crew, I’d still urge you to give this a listen; Purvis and company have definitely created a sound of their own.


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