Saturday 8 October 2022

Baardvader - Foolish Fires (Album Review)

Date Released: October 01st 2022. Record Label: Self Released. Formats: DD/Vinyl

Fooling Fires: Tracklisting




Blinded Out

Prolong Eternity



J. Aron (Guitar/Vocals)

J.P. (Bass)

Koen (Drums)


Baardvader return with their second album Fooling Fires and it sees the band continue their Grunge based inspired journey whilst crossing the Psych Rock, Space Rock, Fuzz Rock and Stoner Metal thresholds. Majorly inspired by Alice In Chains on this album. Baardvader takes that classic Grunge formula and just adds that Spaced Out Vibe with Fuzzy Guitars to match. The vocals feel inspired by Layne Staley, Jerry Cantrell and Wiliam DuVall but with a more Doomier aspect to them

Baardvader also adds aspects of Soundgarden, Truckfighters and Graveyard to their sound that has hidden depths to it all which you can hear on the excellent opening song Pray. A song that flirts with between 90's Grunge Attitude and the modern day Psychedelic Stoner Metal grooves with spiky Fuzzed Up and Spaced Out sounds. The lyrics are excellent which are superbly matched by the melodic riffs and intelligent vocal delivery contained within the song.

Second song Understand opens with a jagged gloomy guitar with a slight Progressive feel before slowly building upto a more confident Post-Rock/Post-Stoner feel. The vocals are slightly subdued and quiet at the start before Baardvader starts adding more trippier and heavier atmospherics to the mix. The drums and distorted guitars add a Sludgier sound to the album before Baardvader starts switching between lighter and heavier sounds. They could have easily lost their way but Baardvader kept things highly original and genuinely exciting. 

Third song Illuminate is a more Psychedelic and FUZZED UP offering which opts for a Post-Stoner/Post-Grunge vibe. The song feels like it could have easily come from Alice In Chains classic 2009 release Black Give Ways To Blue. However, the distorted fuzz rock sounds allow Baardvader to inject their own creative spin into the standard Grunge arena. The instrumental work is intense when the AMPLIFIER WORSHIP sludgy guitars take a more commanding presence. Same goes with the vocals. Perhaps one of the standout tracks on the album with Baardvader showing wonderful creative vision by adding different Ambient sounds along the way.

Three songs down and three to go with Baardvader carrying on with the same haunting style of music that appeared within the first half of the album. The final three songs - Blinded Out, Prolong Eternity and Echoes sees Baardvader rely more heavily on their style of Swirling Psych Rock and Space Rock whilst bringing a more realistic and heavier blend of Sludge/Stoner Metal. 

The band impresses the most on the final song Echoes which runs around eleven minutes in length. A fuzzy Prog Rock/Psych Rock journey into the darker depths of Grunge with those deep influences from Alice In Chains and Soundgarden shining through. Baardvader brings a more riff-centric approach with this track and that's why this is perhaps the standout track on the album. 

Fooling Fires is another standout release from Baardvader and could see the band make a huge impression and build upon their dedicated fan-base within the Stoner Metal underground scene. 

This album is backed up by stellar production values that allows Baardvader to perfectly bridge the gap between 90's Grunge and modern day Psychedelic Stoner Metal. 

Baardvader have released a first rate album. It's as simple as that. 

Words by Steve Howe


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