Born out of a reunion of a local Vancouver, B.C. band, bass player Byron Stroud (Fear Factory, Strapping Young Lad, Zimmer's Hole), drummer Bob Wagner (Econoline Crush), and guitarist Ian White recruited fellow guitar player Terry Murray and 4/5ths of a new project had been formulated. So when Stroud reached out to fellow Fear Factory band mate, the incomparable and enigmatic Metal vocal groundbreaker, Burton C. Bell, (Fear Factory, G//Z/R, Ascension of the Watchers, Ministry) to see if he might be interested in being a part of this new concoction, Bell agreed and the new band City of Fire was born.
Leaving the soundtrack of the futuristic and mechanical cyber world to the mighty Fear Factory, City of Fire instead create a mountain of groove laden, heavy tunes with a some acoustic styling's that you would not have expected, all with the one and only voice that is Burton C. Bell. 11 Hard songs with elements of Punk and ambient acoustic that have a definite lean towards the melodic with a dank and dark flavor of say Tool meets The Cure meets , but with a more straight ahead, modern heaviness. Add the unmistakable vocal performances of Burton C. Bell focusing more on melody and clean vocals and you have one really interesting record.
This self titled debut release has a little bit of everything. Songs like "Coitus Interruptus", "Gravity" and "Hanya" display the powerfully heavy side and Rising, with it's hauntingly catchy swooping chorus, has instant Modern Hard Rock radio hit it written all over it, while the calming "Emerald" shows a lighter instrumental acoustic side. It's all of these differences that make this release so good and ultimately balance out this effort. Heavy, thought provoking and damn enchanting, City of Fire have a debut release that is like none of the projects that it's members are known for, but at the same time it sounds like what you might expect from them if they had a more mainstream outlet.
Never quite Fear Factory heavy, nor ever too experimentally light, City of Fire are firing on all cylinders with this aggressively auspicious CD. The tight musicianship pours out all over the place and sonically the production is top notch, as well. With the resumes that both Bell and Stroud have written over the past 15 years or so, it is not surprising that City of Fire would be such a solid band and self titled new CD. Melodic, full of energy and with a depth not heard very often in today's Metal/Hard Rock climate, City of Fire are making a case to be a new band that you need to check out. This is a really cool sounding record.
1. Carve Your Name
4. A Memory
5. Spirit Guide
6. Coitus Interruptus
9. Hollow Land
10. Dark Tides