Ash & Cinder by FIRE IN THE FIELD screams of spit and sawdust confidence from beginning to end. With rock and blues influences, the album creates this marching rhythm that ebbs and flows from song to song. Despite emotional highs and lows, the prevailing sentiment feels confident and charismatic.
The first track, Snowblind Blues, enters with these crunchy electric guitars. They interact with the vocals in an incredibly cathartic way. Their high register contrasts the depth and distortion of the guitars to form this diverse sonic texture that becomes the backbone of the track.
The next few tracks slow the pace significantly. It has a marching blues pace and arpeggiated guitar part that feels right at home with more emotional vocal delivery. This track allows the lyrics to shine, with more space in the composition. However, this song doesn't neglect the guitar energy that defines the album. The delivery walks the line between singing and spoken word, focusing on communicating while still matching the flow.
Emotion and Disposal brings back that rock swagger with a luscious and steezy song with layers of guitars that wash over the listener, exploring the full tonal range of the melody. The plucking has this twang that resonates with the high-energy delivery, while the strumming uses an addictive, distorted tonal depth. I love the guitar solo on this one.
Although the lower-energy songs are beautiful, this album shines through its rock anthems. This shine comes across in Running from the Gun, which leans more on the rock side with flaming riffs and electric licks, creating this beautiful mix of harmony and chaos. I love the use of pauses to emphasise the aggression of the instrumental. Using silence like a kick drum is a brilliant and under-utilised technique that adds to the complexity of the track.
Overall, the swagger and energy of this album put it head and shoulders above the competition. I'd love to see FIRE IN THE FIELD pursue that style more.