City Of Fire

City Of Fire

This is one of the rarest occasions where I did not have a look on […]
By Dimitris Kontogeorgakos
November 7, 2009
City Of Fire - City Of Fire album cover

This is one of the rarest occasions where I did not have a look on the band's bio sheet before start listening to the music. Maybe, this is not the right way to go but I do like sometimes to be completely unaware about a release I am about to review. With CITY OF FIRE this change of reviewing habit 'protected' me from being prejudiced against their debut album. The reference to FEAR FACTORY would probably unwind my interest since I am not into their industrial-meets-mainstream Metal thingie. Indeed, two members of CITY OF FIRE have the aforementioned band moniker in their biography and not as session or part time musicians. In particular, Bell is FEAR FACTORY's singer while Stoud has been holding the bass guitar for them since 2002. I just did not want to have a FEAR FACTORY wanna-be in CD player...

"Carve Your Name" opens the album with down tuned guitars and a distinct groove that rings the TOOL bell even for an untrained to this sound ear like mine. Fortunately, this track does not lack of heaviness something I think is due to the ZIMMERS HOLE and STRAPPING YOUNG LAD references that are spread all around. Indeed, SYL's often bizarre and out-of-space feeling can be enjoyed in "Rising" enhanced by the almost industrial sounding vocals. The music in CITY OF FIRE' debut is definitely interesting despite the obvious influences from bands that I don't like and know little about. And the reason for this is that the album presents quite a music diversity that even touches THE BLACK LEAGUE -the middle era between "Utopia A.D." and "Man's Ruin Revisited". Bell reveals an almost Stoner vocal profile that in times has striking resemblances with Mr Jarva's trademark timbre. Well, this hearty influence does not last for long and CITY OF FIRE return to the FEAR FACTORY vicinity -with minor electronic additions- and with a great sound production as an ally turn into heavier patterns as heard in "Gravity" and "Coitus Interruptus". The last three songs reveal the band's intention's to experiment a little bit and expand their sound throwing some PINK FLOYD psychedelic looks while gaining more points towards melody and consequently to music diversity. I also managed to dig out some PAIN OF SALVATION structures in the same wave length with "Be" that made me think of "Nihil Morari".

Despite their Industrial groove Metal (I hate the latter term) roots CITY OF FIRE created a very interesting debut revealing some strong composing potential especially during the album closing songs. I will be bold enough (according to my standards) and keep an eye on them while recommending this release to all the readers that are fans of the bands mentioned above.

8 / 10


"City Of Fire" Track-listing:

Carve Your Name
A Memory
Spirit Guide
Coitus Interruptus
Hollow Land
Dark Tides

City Of Fire Lineup:

Burton C. Bell - Vocals
Terry Sho Murray - Guitar
Byron Stroud - Bass
Bob Wagner - Drums
Ian White - Guitar

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