Fire-Toolz – Rainbow Bridge

Gnosis .•o°Ozing begins Fire-Toolz much anticipated album Rainbow Bridge. The one minute song bursts into fiery metal stabs. The heavy drum work and violent guitar colliding as vocals lash against the wall of sound, fizzling like napalm. At the midpoint, the abrasive instrumentation is shot into a prism, causing swelling synths to shoot out soaring above the thrashing structure of guitar and drums.

It’s Now Safe To Turn Off Your Computer joins the gliding kaleidoscope of colour with light airy percussion and pads. Fire-Toolz reaches for the twinkling sonic brilliance of jazz-fusion to then feed it through a filter of gurgling industrial mechanisms. The synth returns, before being joined by a pristine midi drum kit. Snares desperately smash, their cadence echoing into this beautifully hybridised vista Fire-Toolz has begun to illustrate. Emotion is at the very surface of the instrumentation, both in the passion of performance and the chords chosen. The hook screams with heartache: ‘Could death be absolutely safe?’. However, the twinkling sounds and artificial feeling to the track tell us that we are exploring an imagined or digitised plane, one that couldn’t possibly be connected to our real life. The artist expertly melds both the real and the imaginary in the track.

The titular track begins with brooding chords that give way to a rapid onslaught of crystal synth notes and machine gun snares. A lament for the artist’s lost feline companion, the deep longing traceable to the melancholy chords that swirl in the deep end of the mix. ‘You’re everywhere’, again Fire-Toolz brings two worlds colliding into one, the spiritual and the real. These screams are followed by soaring guitar chords. The track floats towards the end with deep warbling notes and twinkling synths enveloped by the wave of low-pass filter. But does not conclude before lurching suddenly towards the sunset, a last attempt at bringing a lost soul back to actuality.

 

 

Mego Maitrī brings mellow notes buoying toward the surface of the mix. Emotive midi keys splay out across the horizon of the stereo field. Here, Fire-Toolz holds back on the vocal aspect, as the voice can be found bubbling through the instrumentation like run-off from a nearby vat. The tone feels like a labyrinth, some chord choices bringing positivity, but not enough to see us out of the ensnaring darkness.

(((Ever-Widening Rings))) brings a more structured gaiety to the album. Chords glistening in the sunshine dive into a beautifully orchestrated instrumentation. That alignment with jazz-fusion from Fire-Toolz past work oozes from the off-key splashes and the irregular bass movements. This freeform energy is undeniable and ever evolving. Screams dash against the dazzling beauty of the keys, a fascinating melding of anger and happiness. Euglossine peaks out with serpentine guitar licks, delivering elegant explorative riffs. The track veers off into the sunlight, quirky piano chords pushing the narrative ever closer to the point where it disappears from view, awash with the shining of the sun.

 

 

dEcRePiT φ PhOeNiX sends the listener into a dissonant world of warping percussion and sudden double bass stabs. Heavy snares give way for the vocals to rejoin the instrumentation, both diving and soaring together as Fire-Toolz somehow translates the same feeling emanating from the beautiful synth tones into emotive screaming. The track gets sucked into a wormhole of glitched feedback and slow moving pads.

angel (Of Deth) finds low-flying, sandy pads sweeping over a slowly-waking soundscape. An uncertain but heartfelt midi-guitar riff writhes about in glowing warmth. We find ourselves amidst nostalgia-inducing emotive sludge. The percussion breaking every now and again, allowing the listener to experience just how thick and full the instrumentation is. The overwhelming feeling has become one of fun, of delight and of joy. Fire-Toolz sends scintillating piano riffs diving through the beefy underbelly of the track. As we reach the halfway point we fall deeper as the piano chords slide lower. Deep, austere tones are joined by jovial jazzy melodies, everything in the world is tinged with this peculiar dissonance. The track closes with sweeping xylophone-like instruments, sounding like a clumsy animal dancing on a floor of glass.

 

 

ᴍɪᴄʀᴏtubules begins with dreamy synths leading us into a heady mix of cloudy pads and heavy percussion. The unpredictable structure bucks and tries to throw us off, as the listener clings onto the glittering mane of Fire-Toolz. The mixing of the vocals here and everywhere else is so pristine, the voice is incendiary almost fizzling out on impact. But the delivery of each guttural note hits effectively.

Dreamy #ex Code stumbles along somnambulistically at the very start. Cascades of breathtaking sound kept in line by a plodding bass. The track kept in this hybrid stasis, a chord away from soaring optimism and heartbreaking negativity. A voice begins to try and make itself heard through the buzzing of alien machinery, swept up every now and again by an echoing delay. Tension grows, an undergrowth of deep sound roaring just before Fire-Toolz shoots a commanding chord right across our bow. The chord doesn’t enter into a percussive sequence, instead its swept up in this shroud of material that changes constantly. Saxophone, thunder, voices. Just about everything travels along in this amorphous ball of noise. Now more than ever, we are adrift in the indiscernible world of Rainbow Bridge. Dripping notes fall into water beneath us, ships of guitar notes buffet and sway on the light breeze. We are hopelessly lost, somewhere between the next jazzy chord and metal-inspired breakdown. A heavy 808 thuds its way towards us from the murk, before the track ends with ghosts of sound.

 

 

The thick organic sounds of acoustic guitar can be heard throughout ER = EPR ~ EoE (EP ∆ P = ER). Fire-Toolz warps different riffs to create an oddly natural sound amidst the swiping of strings. A drumbeat emerges from the euphoric sounds, catapulting choir vocals towards the far walls of the mix. Trudging through as intense and sporadic movements fall against it, it is the only thing the listener can clamber onto as they are beset with one beautiful sound after another. This deep bass sound shoots through water underneath us, taking control of the track every time it does. The listening experience is like caving through the contents of psychedelic fungus. Everything pops with colour and vibrancy. 

觀音 Prayer For The Abuser (abridged) strikes out with ballad-esque twinkling piano chords. The listener begins to feel the conclusive touch of melancholia as we make our way through the penultimate song. But after a while, Fire-Toolz hits one last time with screamed vocals that seek to rattle the structure of the imagined world. The tone is tinged with this second wind of power, as if she has been travelling alongside us this whole time even when not overtly present. She wrestles with the instrumentation, as it hammers into the ground and tries to take off into the air above us. 

We reach {Screamographic Memory} where Fire-Toolz sends us into a murky sample similar to that of a slushwave song. Every muscle of the track aches as the convulsions of screaming and kamikaze composition of the previous tracks fade away. The beauty of the sample acting as a salve, entering every pore and gap in our being. There’s a deep feeling of honesty in the song. The chords and melody’s seem indebted and tied to very personal and affecting memories. We are left on the edge of a cliff as the music stops and the high frequency remnants of it drift off into past the precipice, out of our reach.

With Rainbow Bridge, Fire-Toolz once again shows us the extent of the imaginative talent enshrouded within Angel Marcloid. It seems absolutely any sound or style is achievable. The instrumentation shoots from violent to soothing with no prior warning. But there is more at play than simply talented musicianship. The very nucleus of the album is loss. There is a sense of mourning present, and a desire to understand the secrets of life and death is emblazoned on each of the tracks. These things are weaponised and analysed throughout the album, gifting the listener with a vibrant and infinitely engaging landscape through which to explore their own ideas of sadness and joy.

Available to purchase here: https://fire-toolz.bandcamp.com/album/rainbow-bridge

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