When it comes to Stoner/Doom Metal, I’m not easily impressed, but the latest studio full length, Dwell In The Fog from the Swedish trio Firebreather, for me, absolutely hits the spot.
Firebreather – Dwell In The Fog (RidingEasy)
Release Date: 25 February 2022
Words: Jools Green
Dwell In the Fog is six tracks spanning a ground-shaking yet groovy and well-filled forty minutes, with more of a focus on driving, soaring riffs, somewhat in the vein of High On Fire, Inter Arma and Monolord, compared to their rawer previous offering, Under A Blood Moon.
This takes the Firebreather sound to the next level. For this release, they are joined by new bassist Nicklas Hellqvist, who is attributed to the increased level of “thunder rumble”.
“The album is a cathartic journey inward, and a musical continuation from Under A Blood Moon,” vocalist/guitarist Mattias Nööjd says, “but with more emphasis on groove and feel.”
This, for me, is what makes it such an engaging listen. There’s nothing quite like a good slab of crushing groove, and this album engulfs you in the most impactful way possible right from the opener, Kiss Of Your Blade, with its pummelling opening drum work, rolling rhythms and seductively sleazy leadwork.
Across the whole album, the meld of low, slightly fuzzy, groovy guitar and bass tones, loose and groovy drum rhythms and raw, powerful vocals that have perfect clarity of content is delivered consistently and effectively. So if you love one track, then, like me, you’ll love the whole album.
Dwell In The Fog opens, tantalisingly and not surprisingly, like a fog rolling up to engulf you. Then, suddenly you are surrounded by thick fuzzy grooves and precise drum rhythms that course slowly and unrelentingly around you.
Weather The Storm picks up the pace a little and boasts a swathe of wonderful second half leadwork that is subtly complex, weaving amongst the drum rhythms in the most hypnotic manner imaginable. Ominous in its opening, the next track, Sorrow, is a crunchy groovy plodder that is peppered with texture, adding drum bursts and again has more hypnotic leadwork that dances around the drum rhythms.
The Creed builds on its opening pummeling drum rhythms, adding layers of fuzzy groovy riffing, topped with raw vocals, together delivering a thick heavy, hypnotic sound that feels even denser as the pace picks up. The jangling latter part leadwork adds a further dimension to the sound.
The final piece, Spirit’s Flown, is hugely atmospheric, opening on militaristic drum rhythms, subtle sonic elements and eerie guitars, building into a final dense onslaught upon your senses, particularly from the pummeling drum rhythms. The vocals take on a raw but emotive leaning, closing with powerfully emotive leadwork.
Dwell In The Fog is a wonderful release to immerse and lose yourself completely. An absolute must-have for Stoner/Doom Metal fans.