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Fires in the Distance - Echoes from Deep November

Fires in the Distance
Echoes from Deep November
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 18 April 2020, 1:35 PM

FIRES IN THE DISTANCE is a Progressive Melodic Death/Doom band from Connecticut and “Echoes From Deep November,” is their debut full length.  The most striking aspect of the album is the key/synths.  These elements are no strangers to the Metal of course but I thought I had heard it all.  After all, even the best has been done before, right?  Nothing new under the sun, I say.  I was wrong—the keyboards on FIRES IN THE DISTANCE are unlike anything I’ve heard before.  Even if the other aspects of this album sucked, it will still be worth a listen because of the keyboards and synths.  I’m not even sure if I and describe them to you—but I will do my best during the rest of the review.

The core sound of the band is based upon slower paced, Doom infused Melodic Death Metal with some Progressive thrown in too.  Despite the clever usage of keys/synths, the songs are still riff focused but with the added addition of incredible atmosphere.  ENSHINE and ATOMA are the bands that I would say are a definite influence on the band. The first track, “The Climb,” is peppered with keys that remind me of falling drops of water—it is hard to say why but images of small droplets of water coming off the edge of a mountain side after finding their way to a leaf.  The main riff is melodic heaviness and play off the keys well, as do the drums from the guitars.  The whole song is rather in tune with itself and the individual elements—signs of the strong song writing team that is Savonin and Grimaldi. Grimaldi’s vocals are on point; deep, rumbling, but intelligible enough.

Lock and Key,” is highlighted by the keys tip toeing around the song, especially when the riffs stop for a few moments before they return in force at the 1:58 mark along with the growls.  My favorite part is the final portion of vocals during the last few minutes of the song.  The growls are lifted up by the strange sounds of keys/synths in a combination that shouldn’t work but does.  The guitar solo stands out and slides back into the riffs as the song finishes on a heavy dirge of Doom.

Chained To The Earth,” is one of the album’s heavier moments.  As much as I love the keys, perhaps this song is an example of where they can be used too much.  I feel the song’s intensity was held back a bit by the distracting noises in the background.  This track feels like something SWALLOW THE SUN might do in their heavier moments.  It just has an overall more heavy, Gothic tone to it but still hints of melody to heighten the atmosphere and not be too out of focused from the rest of the album.

All in all, FIRES IN THE DISTANCE have crafted a strong first outing and they definitely will be something special within the genre as they get more and more experience—I will be keeping them on my radar for sure.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Climb
2. Elusive Light
3. The Lock and the Key
4. Reflections In The Ice
5. Chained to the Earth
6. Sundial
Lineup:
Yegor Savonin – Guitars, keys, synth
Kristian Grimaldi - Vocals/Guitars
Kraig Breitsprecher - Bass
Kyle Quintin – Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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