Being somewhat late to the party I only discovered Gothenburg three-piece Firebreather last year, listening to 2019s Under A Blood Moon which had me excited right away. Their ability to write crushingly heavy and in-your-face, yet melodic doom metal is impressive, and their latest album Dwell In The Fog is no exception. While going in a more straightforward direction on the album, they maintain their well refined huge and rumbling sound with more focus on the melodic aspects. Dwell In The Fog is out on February 25th, on RidingEasy Records, and their first album featuring new bassist Nicklas Hellqvist.
Compared to their previous two albums (counting 2017’s S/T as a full length) the songs on Dwell In The Fog have a more traditional structure. You might say there’s even more attention to the riff actually, and because there are fewer of them, the focus seems to be on fleshing out ideas and building depth throughout the songs. I think this fits the album quite well, and with this songwriting approach nothing seems redundant: It’s straight to the point, and all-in-all a hard-hitting album.
The album opens with Kiss Of Your Blade which also serves as the lead single. Right from the beginning, it’s very Firebreather: The drums are big, rumbling, and up-beat, building up tension along with a shattering main riff that’s heavy yet melodic. It’s riff worship at its finest, but as they drift towards the melodic aspects, there’s a sense of progression throughout the song.
It’s riff worship at its finest…
The title track, Dwell In The Fog, blends classic stoner-doom heaviness with the aforementioned melodic depth. Alternating between instrumentally melodic parts and heavy chord-based riffs where the vocals get to play a bigger part, there’s a lot of dynamic and variety to it. The vocals generally have more room in the mix and shine through a lot more, making the choruses sound bigger. Take the closing track Spirit’s Flown as another example of this; a grandiose and epic song, and the vocals really help emphasize this.
The overall production of the album comes through as loud and forceful, immediately noticeable by the drumming, on The Creed for instance, where they play along with the accents of the guitar riffs. And while the guitars do take the main stage mix-wise, the drums, and bass work extremely well together: Towards the end of Weather The Storm the song changes radically during a solo where the drums and bass keep it all together with a tight groove. While the rhythm guitars are absent, the drums and bass do well on their own while managing to introduce a more dynamic range to this otherwise massive track. Overall, it’s as loud as ever which is just very fitting for a band like this.
Seeing this drift towards melodic songs where the vocals play a bigger role feels like a natural progression from their last album, and with Dwell In The Fog, I think Firebreather do a great job of adding depth while staying true to their riff-worship excellence. 2022 is starting on a high note with this one, and it’s definitely worth your time.
Scribed by: Emil Damgaard Andersen