CZARFACE – “A Fistful of Peril” review

After releasing 2 modern classic hip hop albums in 2013 & last year, Wu-Tang Clan member Inspectah Deck & Army of the Pharaohs/Demigodz subgroup 7L & Esoteric are hitting us with another full-length album under the CZARFACE name. Just like last time, the album is entirely produced by the group’s producer 7L & his protégé Spada4 but they’re not blatantly copying what they did on the trio’s last 2 albums. The album starts off with the track “Electric Level 1”, where we hear a tiny sliver of spoken dialogue & then it transitions to a 1-minute electronic beat that kinda reminds of 7L & Esoteric’s 4th album A New Dope just 10 years before. However, things don’t really kick off until the next track “2 in the Chest” which has a slowed down funky beat as well as killer rhymes & flows from the trio’s 2 MCs Inspectah Deck & Esoteric. The next track “Czar Wars” (awesome title) sees Eso & Deck trading lines back & forth with each other, only proving that their chemistry together is still fucking killer! The beat isn’t bad either, the guitar loop throughout is pretty nice. The track “Machine, Man & Monster” starts off with a raw verse from Conway & with the bass playing throughout as well as the electric guitar I heard on this track at points, the beat reminds me of something I’d hear from CZARFACE’s previous album Every Hero Needs a Villain but not in a bad way at all. The next track “Dare Iz a Darkseid” (which is cleverly named after Redman’s classic sophomore album Dare Iz a Darkside) starts off with a hilarious verse from Esoteric followed by a roughly delivered verse from Deck over a hard boom beat beat & I just REALLY love how you can hear how much fun Eso is having while he’s delivering his verse. The track “All in Together Now” (named after the Wu-Tang Clan’s original name for those who don’t know) has THUNDEROUS drums, a nice electro loop & I love the ambition in the 2 MC’s voices as they deliver these braggadocious yet accomplished sounding lines. Following that track, we have the closer “Level Electric 1” which is just a beautiful 1 minute dark ambient sounding piece. Now I remember Eso making a post on his Instagram back in January of this year hinting that this is the last CZARFACE album & if that really is the case with this album, they went out with a bang! The production 7 & Spada bright to the table is tight while Eso & Deck’s flows are on point as is their lyrics & the chemistry is still near perfect. Despite my only issue with the album being that it’s too short (it only runs at 35 & a half minutes), the 3 were able to come through with an album as equally great as their last 2 albums

Score: 4.5/5

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