Friday, November 1, 2019

Of Fire - "Dräparen" (Art Gates Records, 2019)

Band: Of Fire
Title: Dräparen
Genre: Death Metal with some Black Metal influences
Time: 38.37 min
Release Date: 28th June 2019
Rating: 88/100

For you, what could comes up from a Swedish band whose album called "Dräparen" was recorded at the legendary Sunlight Studios by none other than Tomas Skogsberg, the man that, in practice, forged the typical sound of the old-school Swedish death metal? The right answer is less obvious than you can imagine, but this is normal for a band belonging to the roster of Art Gates Records, a label that never release obvious or predictable stuff.

In according to Art Gates Rec, Of Fire plays "Raw Death Metal"  but this is true until at a certain point. Yes, they plays death metal and their Swedish influences are strongly predominant already starting, for example, from the guitars, that have that unmistakably Swedish chainsaw guitar sound that I love so much. But, little by little, you'll discover that "Dräparen" offers something more, like different influences (coming mainly from black and doom metal), atmospheric moments able to make dark the entire music, and also a very good balancement between the fast and the slower ones.
To show you what I said before in a concrete way, I can name some examples. The first example comes surely from "Stockholms Blodbad", that opens the album not with a fast assault (as it should be in according to the extreme metal tradition) but with a compact mid-tempo that shows already some of the main features of the band, such as atmospheric breaks, quite simple structures, and no guitar solos nor layered riffs (both are very rare). Instead, the following "The Filth and the Fury" is one of the most violent songs of the album along with "Satanic Warfare" and "Necro Train", so it see a faster pace including also blast-beats, but it contains even some rock'n'roll-oriented parts (hence, it isn't a total case if Metal-Archives consider Of Fire as a death'n'roll band!). At the contrary, the titletrack is a doomish song sung in Swedish and characterized by a strong, haunting atmosphere also due to majestic black metal parts with keyboards that bring directly you to the '90s. After that, there is "Let Them Hang", another doomish-oriented song but with a more melodic and melancholic approach, even though it features a short part in a stormy black metal blast-beat. "Undead" is mentionable because it has a howling and noisy kind of guitar solo, that is also the first and only one throughout the album. Finally, the album ends its path with "Atomvinter", a mid-tempo strong not only of dark metal parts also played in an acoustic way but even of an epic and very melodic sequence, that shows definitely the skills by Of Fire.

I still never listened to the their two previous albums but I seriously think that Of Fire, thanks to this third album named "Dräparen", have now a recognizable sound. This because they combines perfectly the Swedish death metal à la Entombed/Dismember with a '90s black metal feeling and dark atmospheres. I found no flaws into the music of the band, but I can suggest to them, for their future productions to come, to develop more and more their darker skills (by using the keyboards in a more constant way, for example) also because songs such as the titletrack and "Let Them Hang" are some of my favorite ones of the entire album. At this point, it's really possible that I'll include Of Fire in the next Timpani allo Spiedo's playlist but, for the moment, enjoy below the promotional video that they made for "The Filth and the Fury"... and don't confound it with the documentary with the same title about Sex Pistols!

1 - Stockholms Blodbad
2 - The Filth and the Fury
3 - Satanic Warfare
4 - Dräparen
5 - Let Them Hang
6 - Necro Train
7 - Undead
8 - Atomvinter


Robin Joelsson - vocals
Jonathan Thunell - guitars
Rasmus Thunell - guitars
Martin Johansson - bass
Rick Williamsson - drums

Art Gates Records:

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