Release date: 27/09/2019
Running time: 49 mins
Review by: Alun Jones
You’ve got to hand it to the Swedes. They’re pretty damn good at whatever they turn their hands to. Cheese with holes in, chocolate, clocks… No wait, that’s the Swiss. The Swedes are the ones who are awesome at flatpack furniture and – most importantly for us – music.
Firebreather are a trio of doom-mongers from Gothenburg in Sweden. Comprising Mattias Noojd on vocals and guitar, Kyle Pitcher on bass and drummer Axel Wittbeck, these riff-lords are adept at creating massive, epic songs that are both brutal and beautiful.
The music pounds and pummels, but as in opening track “Dancing Flames”, the churning riff becomes hypnotically entrancing. “Our Souls They Burn” is unleashed with a super-heavy grind that’s underpinned by a powerful groove.
It’s hard to pick a stand-out or favourite track, though the relentless structure of the songs creates a vast tapestry of music that blends together. This is savage and also seductive, like the wilderness of their native Scandinavia. Hence, we get the thunderous beat of title track “Firebreather” and the contrast of the slow rhythmic build and almost melancholic vibe of “The Siren”.
Repeated listens are definitely recommended: familiarity with “Under a Blood Moon” coaxes the songs to open up and reveal more treasures each time. The listeners’ mind can imagine patterns and shapes cascading, like watching flames burn and dance. It’s a solid album from Firebreather that only promises to grow and endure.
All this talk about fire-breathing brings back memories of my old mate Ronnie James Dio’s fascination with the Dungeons and Dragons board game. Back in the early 80’s, when he was fronting Black Sabbath, Ronnie was obsessed with it. He’d constantly badger the band to play it with him, which they did – begrudgingly.
Tony and Geezer amiably played along to humour their titan-voiced tiny singer. I recall one time though, when Bill Ward had really had enough of elves and dragons – he threw a huge pitcher of ale over the game. Ronnie was livid, Tony and Geezer were trying to stifle laughter. Especially when Bill kicked the table, banged his big toe and fell about screaming in agony, ripping a hole in his wife’s tights. Bill was always wearing his wife’s tights. I think they kept him warm.
You can find Firebreather on Facebook and Twitter: @FIREBREATHERGBG.
Check them out on Bandcamp here.
This review originally appeared on the Ever Metal site, which you can visit here.