Firebreather: Under A Blood Moon

Pagans, light those candles and grab your favorite ceremonial ram’s horn because Firebreather has a new album. These Swedish doom-rockers are back with a hard-hitting six-track album that is crammed full of droning chords, chilling riffs, gruff vocals, and songs long enough to easily outlast albums with twice as many tracks. With a sound that’s undoubtedly heavy, Firebreather combine aspects of Swedish metal and doom-rock to create a broad style on Under A Blood Moon that would catch the attention of any Gojira, Sunn, or Black Sabbath fan.

As with any metal sub-genre, this style can be polarizing. If you enjoy songs longer than your drive to work, this is definitely for you. If not…maybe stick to grind-core? Though their riffs aren’t as technical as many of their metal counterparts, there’s a heaviness there that isn’t easily matched. The guitars are the driving force of the melody in their songs, but the vocals sit nicely on top with a sing/scream style similar to Gojira vocalist Joe Duplantier. Rather than shooting for a self-indulgent technical smorgasbord, Firebreather chooses to lay into fuzzy, haunting riffs that might make the hair stand up on your arm. “Our Souls They Burn” has a riff at the six minute mark that sounds like it’s beckoning the end of days, but that riff repeats a full two minutes as the outro to the song. The riffs are catchy and punishing, but repetition of this caliber may be a deal breaker for newer listeners. It’s easy to dismiss the tracks as if you’ve heard one you’ve heard them all. That being said, it’s simply a mark of the genre and Firebreather does it exceedingly well. There is a deep, ancient anger in this album that will be sure to awaken the inner Viking in listeners.

This album screams power front to back. Every instrument, every lyric, every new turn is tough and low. The production is very real, no over-compressed or over-processed mainstream rock here. The sound is as natural as it is heavy, and the sheer loudness of it is sure to hit home with listeners. The drum into to “The Siren” will show just how natural and huge “Under A Blood Moon” can be. It’s not an easy feat to sound this evil while also writing an album that is true to its art, but Firebreather checks every box. Whether you’re getting lost in the woods of Sweden or sitting with the lights off after a long day of work, this album will hit the spot. Press play and turn up to eleven.

Rating: 7.5/10