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Of Fire - Dräparen

Of Fire
Dräparen
by Quinten Serna at 14 July 2019, 11:14 PM

Borne from Sweden in 2012 under the name Spasm and changing their name to “Of Fire” back in 2013 “Of Fire” has released three full sized records with an unchanged lineup and an interesting genre assosciation. Being partially labeled under the description “Death ‘n’ Roll” they manage a heavy sound divvied with lyrics strewn between English and I’m what I can only assume to be Swedish.

The album opens with “Stockholms Blodbad” which has a few different translations between Stockholm’s Blood Bath/Carnage/Massacre for those of us not partial to Swedish—the song has a relaxed sort of feeling to it with a temperate tempo and heavy drums coupled with staccato string work and grizzly vocals. The break has several different rhythms going on between the strings, drums, and lead riff before the lead guitar returns to the main motif. “The Filth and the Fury” is the second track on the album playing on harmonies almost immediately as the song commences. The song is based on the same techniques and styles of eased strings and Rock n’ Roll-esque drums, yet this piece is in English. The song contains an almost tacet break where most of the instruments are nearing silent—save for the drums—both in speed and intensity before returning to an alternate chorus after a short count in.

The production value is great encapsulating the themes of the genre in clarity and fidelity wherein each instrument sounds out in clear quality and none trample upon one another in a vying for dominance within the soundscape of the album as heard within songs such as “Undead” and “Let Them Hang.” Each work containing several homophonic passages that combine together to form the compositions rather than just repeating what another instrument is playing there exists harmonies and differentiating rhythms.

The title track “Dräparen” marks itself different than the other tracks on the album, first starting off with a slower staccato lead in between the verse progressions slowing even more almost into a doom passage and returning back to its original tempo and ending with a fade out from the band and a swelling of wind. The vocals are interesting to say the least as his voicings are incredibly clear and audible the closest comparison I could draw to would probably be Brendon Small, though even by that comparison it doesn’t do well to explain the fidelity and control of Robin’s vocals; even singing within another language in the style of Death Metal each syllable and phoneme came out in remarkable clarity and contour.

Of Fire” is defined not only by their interesting combination of themes and genres, but also in their overall prowess of a band whereupon each song feels that it was built, constructed, and performed as a true unit, and the culmination of each instrument creates a larger-than-life soundscape greater than the sum of its parts. Any person bearing interest towards Death Metal or its affiliates would find great enjoyment in this band.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
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
Lineup:
Martin Johnsson - Bass
Rick Williamsson - Drums
Jonathan Thunell - Guitars
Rasmus Thunell - Guitars
Robin Joelsson - Vocals
Record Label: Independent
     


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