Thursday 28 September 2017

FIREBREATHER - S/T (Album Review)

Release date: October 13th 2017. Label: Suicide Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Screen – Tracklisting



Mattias Nööjd
Kyle Pitcher
Fredrik Käll


From the ashes of sadly defunct Sludge/Doom Metal overlords - GALVANO - comes Firebreather. A new Sludge/Doom Metal trio who fuse the familiar sounds of Galvano but match it with a more ferocious intensity of High On Fire. Their debut S/T album is something to behold, admire and riff-worship from afar. As Firebreather are more primal than Galvano.

The riffs have a doomier feel and the vocals from Mattias take influence from Matt Pike at times. Firebreather excel throughout on this fantastic sounding album. As they offer four prime cuts of pure doom/sludge metal riffs that will have you grinning and head-banging in agreement.

Opening track - Fire Foretold - creates a gloomy atmosphere with fast-paced High On Fire inspired riffs but still creating their own sound. The psychedelic elements of Firebreather’s music allow them to experiment more freely with their music and see the band become a force of nature to be reckoned with.

Second track - Emerald Eyes - opens with a long drawn out distorted riff before the bass heavy sounds moves the atmosphere to a more exciting level. The vocals from Mattias may sound harsh and menacing at times but at least you can fully understand them. The music becomes less angry than the opening song but still undeniably heavy. With the song running for around eight minutes, Firebreather have a lot of time to fill. Firebreather do this by playing epic psychedelic doom sounds that soon give way to heavier sludge grooves. You may start to feel and hear the friendlier Stoner Metal riffs that Firebreather add at different parts of the album. The music interplay between all members of the band is what makes the band work exceptionally well. These guys sound and feel they've been playing together for years and this feels like album number five or six and not their debut release.

Third track - The Ice Lord - is strictly a warped doom metal affair with the heavy riffs driving the demented mood along to its natural conclusion. The whole sound of the album becomes more volatile and fragmented with Firebreather coming into their own identity and leaving the High On Fire and Galvano comparisons finally behind. The music is more primal and offers a more doom-centric on the second half stages of the album.

The final song - Release The Lava - is the standout track and centrepiece of the album. As it runs for twelve minutes and sees Firebreather adapt a more progressive style to their music. The song can be too laid-back and slow-paced at times but Firebreather soon correct that with their intense blend of Psychedelic Doom and Sludge Metal driving the song to an exciting conclusion.

Firebreather's debut album maybe too short, clocking in less than thirty three minutes. Though it's what Firebreather do with those thirty three minutes is what counts the most. As Firebreather have created a brilliantly heavy and exciting debut album that will leave fans wanting more. An outstanding debut album that showcases another great band from the Swedish Doom/Sludge Metal scene.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Richard at Sheltered Life PR for the promo. Firebreather S/T debut album will be available to buy via Suicide Records on CD/DD/Vinyl from October 13th 2017.