Monday, 19 September 2016
FIRE DOWN BELOW ~ VIPER VIXEN GODDESS SAINT ..... review
Belgium, the home of the European Union and NATO, is also the home of Fire From Below, a four piece band from the Flemish municipality of Ghent consisting of Sam Nuytens (drums), Jeroen Van Troyen (rhythm guitar and vocals), Kevin Gernaey (lead guitar) and Bert Wynsberghe (bass), a band who seemingly appeared from nowhere and are now suddenly assailing the stoner/psych and doom communities with their stunning debut album "Viper Vixen Goddess Saint"
"Viper Vixen Goddess Saint" begins innocently enough with opener " El Viento del Desierto" (translation: The Desert Wind), a gentle acoustic number with a bluesy campfire swing before erupting like a volcano into the psych drenched rock'n'roll of next track " Through Dust And Smoke" its heavily fuzzed groove coloured with touches of psych colouring and embellished with clean melodious grunge like vocals punctuated by a fist pumping vocal refrain of "Shut Up" shouted at the end of each verse. The rest of the album follows much the same course, hard fuzz drenched riffs that are pushed from beneath by complex percussive patterns and big booming funky bass lines and textured with scorching lead work that is then layered with moments of psychedelic tranquillity and ambiance giving the songs an hazy almost trippy feel. This feeling of hazy texturing and colour is never more evident than on the utterly mind-blowing "Universes Crumble", a slowly building melting pot of heavy psych and complex ambient space-rock salted with touches of desert grit and hard stoner fuzz and coated in hazy vocal harmonies, that tells an apocalyptic tale of impending cosmic disaster and is the perfect example of what Fire Down Below are all about both musically and lyrically. The band finish the album with "The Mammoth" an eleven minute plus opus that channels a little doomy darkness into, their up to now, quite brightly lit grooves. Heavier and a little more expansive than previous tracks the songs longer duration allows the band the freedom to stretch out and get a little loose and experimental using snatches of narrative to add atmosphere and filling out the crunching riffs with an array of heavily pedal effected guitar pyrotechnics, spine crumbling bass and pile driving percussion and in doing so finish a damn fine album in damn fine style.
Check 'em out ......