Dwell in the Fog by FirebreatherRelease date: February 25, 2022
Label: RidingEasy Records
For a country the size of Sweden, it really does punch above its weight when it comes to rolling out bands that love turning the amps up to eleven. Gothenburg’s Firebreather are also another example of a trio being able to make a noise that could knock down mountains. Although I am a big fan of their label RidingEasy Records output, prior to this record Firebreather’s brand of heavy, slow moving doom had not really caught my attention. That has now changed.
For album number three – Dwell in the Fog is their second for RidingEasy Records following Under a Blood Moon – this doomy assemble showcases new bassist Nicklas Hellqvist who brings a quite staggering low end rumble to proceedings, while drummer Axel Wittbeck, adds a rolling groove that kicks the band into greater purposeful gears than they’ve previously shown hitherto. Add in vocalist/guitarist Mattias Noojd’s melodic guttural bellowing and hefty riffage combines to lift Firebreather into newer areas of doomy sludge ‘n’ groove, and a roaring rumble which impresses like they haven’t done for this reviewer in the past.
They rage with more fire in their bellies this time around, but dig deeper into the murky thick as tar noise-fest, and you will find acute subtleties at play. The afore-mentioned low-end rumble which, at times, threatens to overrun things is expertly counteracted by some fine drum production which kicks through the monstrous heaviness for some much-needed clarity and drive. This is best exemplified along with Matt’s weighty riff on the opening ‘Kiss of your blade’, and a fine solo which focuses on melody rather than any fast artistry showboating.
More melodic guitar work opens ‘Sorrow’ and a blast of busy pummelling drumming before settling into a simpler and effective forward motion riff ‘n’ groove, which is heavy and sludgy like Bong Cauldron did so well. This is Firebreather taking their song-writing and sound onto another level. They have developed additional melodic moments which shine above the dense heavy parapet, because lest not forget, this is severe all-head consuming heaviness we are talking about here. Just listen to the opening thirty seconds of album opener ‘Kiss of the Blade’ for the level of cloudy distorted fuzz of what is being delivered. And it never drops here on in.
The sheer slow heavy density can be too much at times as on ‘Weather the Storm’ – basically they don’t. But, the slight shift away from earlier doom orientated sounds, particularly when they add more groove is where the album highlights emerge. The mighty ‘Creed’ is a beast of a track. It rages robustly, but the stop and start effect propels the song further upwards. It has Matt’s finest melodic guttural growls and a solo, which soars magnificently from the thick gooey blended soup. This song just grows more monstrous with each play.
They haven’t fully moved completely on from their earlier doomy slow stomp though, as a couple of tracks dwell too long on their old worn path making them a bit harder to love. But, Dwell in the Fog is their best offering yet, and is a move up in quality. Closer listening to their heroes High on Fire and Monolord have started to pay off. Firebreather’s third is worth a listen for those who also enjoy the Swedes said key influences.