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.

Lordi Gig Review

Lordi + Hollywood Groupies + Dirty Passion

Friday 3rd April 2015

The Live Rooms, Chester

One thing’s for sure: when the Live Rooms say “doors open at 7pm”, make sure you get in there on time.  I was having a cheeky pint in Kash up the road, so missed the start of the first set tonight.  I arrived about 7.20pm and the first band were already on.

Dirty Passion were that first band, and I’m happy to report that they were pretty damn good.  Hailing from Sweden, this gang of greasy deviants sounded somewhere between Motorhead and Sonic Temple-era Cult.  A confident start to the night.

Next up on our international smorgasbord of rock was Hollywood Groupies, all the way from Italy.  The fact that there were two females in the band (one on vocals, one guitar) is one reason why this band stood out.  Female equality is all very good, and not a novelty in this case – the whole band threw out a quality set.  Again it’s straight up rock’n’roll, and I sensed a slight Danzig influence with big, sing along choruses in abundance.  Nice work. LORDI_on_Tour_Force_One_2015_Masters_of_Rock_CZ

Finally, our main course tonight is a Finnish dish – the Eurovision slaying Monsters of Rock known as Lordi.  I’ll never forget watching the Eurovision song contest in 2006, and the moment when Finland’s entry appeared on stage.  Fully kitted out in monster outifts, the band made jaws drop across the world and rightfully stole the event.

Tonight at the Live Rooms isn’t much different – Lordi appear on stage and drag the audience in to their bizarre horror rock world.  Complete with lights, foam guns, confetti, additional (monster mask wearing) dancers and more, it’s an unrelenting show that is pure, spectacular fun.

I have a couple of Lordi albums, but know only about a quarter of the songs played tonight.  No matter – I was quite surprised even the songs I wasn’t familiar with were listenable, catchy, enjoyable.  “Hard Rock Hallelujah” is played third song in, but there’s no indication of Lordi giving away their ace card too soon, there’s plenty of thrills to be served up.

Like seeing Alice Cooper, there’s a sense of theatrics with Lordi’s show.  It all adds up to a visual treat as well as a musical one.  Highly entertaining, and very hard rocking.  Hallelujah!!!

The Live Rooms website is here.  Keep an eye open for more great gigs coming soon!

The Lordi website is here.