Firebreather – Under a Blood Moon Album Review

Firebreather – Under a Blood Moon

RidingEasy Records

Release date: 27/09/2019

Running time: 49 mins

Review by: Alun Jones

8.5/10

 

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.

Winter Rocks – Canada

Way back when I started this blog, the very first post in the Music section was about Scandinavian bands/artists.  I was inspired by the cold weather in early 2013 to listen to music from Scandinavia as a theme for the winter months.

Two years on and I needed another theme for this winter’s music homework.  So despite no (or very little) snow, I went with another northern country and chose Canada.

Now I’m sure that the summer weather in Canada is very nice, but without falling prey to stereotypes, the theme fits.  Plus there are loads of artists from that country to fill my playlist.

Here they are:

  • Alanis Morissette
  • Annihilator
  • Bachman Turner Overdrive
  • Black Mountain
  • Bryan Adams
  • Cancer Bats
  • Cauldron
  • Death From Above 1979
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor
  • The Guess Who
  • Neil Young
  • Nickleback
  • Rush
  • Shania Twain
  • SNFU
  • Steppenwolf
  • Voivod

There you go: a fairly eclectic mix of everything from country to thrash metal.

My thanks to Matt Barnes, who introduced me to quite a few artists on this list (but not Shania or Alanis…).

Did I forget anyone?  Leave further Canadian music suggestions in a comment below.