Album in Review: FIRES IN THE DISTANCE – “Echoes From Deep November”
The debut album from FIRES IN THE DISTANCE has been the best thing coming out of Scandinavia in quite a while…oh wait, I mean Connecticut. This foursome comes out strong out the gates with their debut on Prosthetic Records, a label that has been killing lately with new signings like SERMON (this writers favorite album of 2019), FOUR STROKE BARON, and a ton of other very cool and diverse bands. Back to their sound, this Melodic Doom/Death band definately has a strong Scandinavian influence but still with a sound all their own. Citing influences from Paradise Lost, Type O Negative, Swallow the Sun, amongst others, those bands are a good starting point to FITD’s music yet they still make it unique. No clean vocals to be had on this album, vocalist/guitarist Kristian has a perfect middle of the road, dechiperable death metal growl perfect for taking in the somber lyrics dealing with deep rooted depression. They dropped their first taste of music for the song “The Climb” a long 6 months ago and like many bands these days the release was pushed back, in this case from May to September. That only gave them time to drop more songs to increase the hype for the album like a studio verson of “The Lock and the Key” and a lyric video for “Reflections in the Ice”, amongst others.
The album starts off with “The Climb”, a perfect showcase of what the rest of the album has in store. The keyboards that starts off the song are interweaved throughout the whole album, almost giving the songs a connected feel and add to the atmospheric nature of this album. At over 7 minutes this song has it all: slow to mid paced with a great guitar solo and the unique keyboard sound that just builds into a great deal of epicness. “Elusive Light” starts off with a death core-ish riff then really hits you hard with a exceptional melodeath riff proving they can hang with the best of them. With a sample from British intellectual Christopher Hitchens played intermittently throughout the song, this is another example of their creativity and why this band stands out. “The Lock and Key” is similar in pace to the Climb and once again bring the epicness towards the end of the song. Screw power metal bands, these guys know how to do it right! “Reflections in the Ice” starts of with a catchy riff reminiscent of an old DIMMU BORGIR song that a lot of the song builds upon and includes a beautiful acoustic section towards the end, reminiscent of old IN FLAMES. This one will get stuck in your head for days. “Chained to the Earth” has beautiful instrumentation throughout, a little more keyboard work, and a great guitar solo. The last song, the instrumental “Sundial”, brings the atmospherics down a bit and is one of the heaviest songs on the album and definately the most straightforward of the bunch. At only a little over 3 minutes it is the shortest song on the album (by a lot) and feels like it should be longer. Maybe that’s because you get so used to the 7+ minute songs on the album but it still seems a bit unfinished. Another killer guitar solo on this track, the solos on this album are definately a standout aspect of the band. The restrained nature of the solos work perfectly within these songs, yet they know when to let loose a bit. The maturity in the solos tells you these guys are technically proficient yet they know exactly what to do in the context of the song.
Another exciting new signing from Prosthetic, this debut seems quite mature for newcomers and if this is a sign of things to come this band sure has a bright future ahead of them. At only 6 songs that might seem short for a full album, yet alone a debut, but most of the songs average over 7 minutes and bring you through quite the musical and lyrical journey throughout each song. This for sure is going be in my top 5 albums of the year and I can’t wait to hear what they guys have in store for the future.
Kristian Grimaldi – Guitars/Vocals
Craig Breisprecher – Bass
Kyle Quintin – Drums
Yegor Savonin – Guitars
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