Sunday, July 04, 2010

City of Fire - s/t

City of Fire

The thing that’ll draw attention to City of Fire is the presence of Fear Factory yowler Burton C. Bell and FF/Strapping Young Lad bassist Byron Stroud. But calling this a Fear Factory side project is selling it short. Not that Bell in particular doesn’t give a bravura performance here – he shouts, growls, roars and sings with the best of ‘em. But he’s just part of a massive metal tapestry that pulls in bits of death metal, Tool-like progressive rock, alt.metal, hard rock, psychedelia and even – on the powerhouse opener Carve Your NameKilling Joke. Rather than a mishmash casting about for a consistent style, the record becomes a cohesive set of melodic, majestic metal anthems that will likely appeal to headbangers of all creeds. (Plus Emerald, the obligatory acoustic breathcatcher.) Spirit Guide, Coitus Interruptus and the monstrous and elegiac cover of the Cult’s Rain should attract lighters, fist, horns and air instruments in equal measure.

- Michael Toland

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