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Fires in the Distance: Echoes from Deep November

Once, when driving very late at night, I happened past a hilly area where an unplanned fire was burning far above me. I pulled over to take a look (and to make sure that authorities were on the way). What I saw that night amazed me. The dark hillside was completely lit up by fire, it’s light and heat both amazing and devastating.

As I listened to this album, I often thought back to that night. That probably has more to do with the band’s name than their music; and yet, I can’t help but attribute some of that powerful energy to what I’m hearing here.

If you want a quick introduction to Fires in the Distance, go to YouTube and check out the band’s in studio video for “The Climb.” If you like that, you can also listen to “The Lock and the Key” on the same platform.

For those needing more introduction than that, Fires in the Distance is what you might call an accidental side project. Three of this band’s four members are also in Archaic Decapitator and some of the music here was really just meant for that band. However, since the guys felt like the songwriting was going in a different direction than they expected, they let started thinking in terms of this new band. As things came together, the band had the good fortune of being picked up by Prosthetic Records which should give this band even more momentum.

Let’s hope Fires in the Distance is more than a side project. The music here is thoughtful and engaging in ways that capture the best of death-doom and musical atmosphere. The music is largely melancholy, but it isn’t necessarily wallowing in darkness or stumbling into the abyss. Instead, it takes up human melancholy and sits with it, watching it and listening to it just long enough to understand. Listeners will quickly notice that the music uses lots of keyboards. I remember when keyboards were either too much or non-existent. Fortunately, bands have learned to use them in better ways. For Fires in the Distance, the keys are simultaneously engaging and bright while also managing to be dark and melancholy. I’ve never quite heard anything quite like it.

This is a strong debut from a band that almost wasn’t. If you like what you’ve heard on YouTube, I highly recommend the rest of the album. My favorite tracks were “Reflections in the Ice” and “Chained to the Earth.” Also be sure to check out the cover art by Caelen Stokkermans.

Track Listing:
1. The Climb
2. Elusive Light
3. The Lock and the Key
4. Reflections in the Ice
5. Chained to the Earth
6. Sundial

Added: July 31st 2020
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Bandcamp Page
Hits: 835
Language: english

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