Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Breathe Fire - E.P. (E.P. review)

Cover artwork by Frank Frazetta.
Breathe Fire are one of the more mysterious bands I’ve ever come across.  They have a true, “let the music do the talking” attitude whereby online presence is minimal, info is sparse and hype is nonexistent.  Hell, these guys are so shrouded in secrecy they don’t even have album or song titles.  What I have been able to gleam is that the band is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, they’ve been around since at least 2007 and from all appearances they are two members with fury enough for five.

The four song ‘E.P.’ is a pummeling attack of Metal, hardly defined by subgenre classification, Breathe Fire angrily colors outside the sludge / doom lines, pressing hard, breaking every crayon they come across along the way, or so it seems.  Picking up the gauntlet lain down by High on Fire, Breathe Fire throw heavy handed punches from the get go and only stop between songs.  It’s an intense ride that only lasts for some 19 minutes but feels longer for all the bludgeoning abuse visited upon my sensitive nature.

As touched upon earlier the band has eschewed song titles for its first bandcamp release so the tracks are labelled “Track 1”, “Track 2”, etc.  “Track 1” opens the affair with cruel intentions.  From the word go, an exhilarating ascending guitar run and pausey drum riff spills forth making way for neck vein popping screamed vocals.  I’ve said it many times here but I don’t typically go for vocals that aren’t clean.  Breathe Fire’s guitarist / vocalist doesn’t offend me, his screams are melodic and inject an appropriate amount of energy into the boiling cauldron of music the instruments churn. 

This E.P. has loads going for it, but the melodic guitar runs spread throughout are one of the major distinguishing markers.  It takes the songs up a notch from straight forward sludge metal and injects a touch of class(ic rock).  “Track 2” takes its time building a tense atmosphere for a full two minutes before the pummeling resumes.  Minor chords and a cement boot of crash throw the listener overboard into deep waters where there’s no escape from a fully immersive experience.

The lone instrumental of the bunch, and closing number, “Track 4” is where the band brings it all home.  Far and away the best song on the E.P., Breathe Fire lets loose their inner High on Fire on this one with a firewagon of choppy riffs, bell ride and breakneck syncopation.  It’s a downhill ride on spiked wheels, chewing pavement , disrupting traffic and threatening lives.

This is a killer introduction to a band who, though most likely new to most of us, already knows its chops and is as focused as a tightly closed fist.  From the Frank Frazetta cover art on down Breathe Fire mean business, and their business involves swinging heavy axes.  ‘E.P.’ is available on bandcamp for FREE, 100 per cent, no questions asked FREE download, so follow the link on the player below and bloody your nose.

Highlights include: "Track 4" and "Track 1"

Rating: 4/5

Total Run Time: 19:22

From: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Genre: Stoner Metal, Doom, Sludge

Reminds me of: Buzzherd, Crowlord, Hollow Leg, Vykanthrope

Release Date: January 13, 2014

Band photo

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