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Fires In The Distance - Air Not Meant For Us review


425 users:
Band: Fires In The Distance
Album: Air Not Meant For Us
Style: Death doom metal, Melodic doom metal
Release date: April 2023

01. Harbingers
02. Wisdom Of The Falling Leaves
03. Crumbling Pillars Of A Tranquil Mind
04. Adrift, Beneath The Listless Waves
05. Psalm Of The Merciless
06. Idiopathic Despair

Burn baby, burn.

Cast your mind back to the autumn of 2020; the days were drawing shorter on a year filled with uncertainty, anxiety and doom, the latter of which was provided by both ID Software and the debuting Fires In The Distance. Like their name suggests, the band was a beacon for many a metalhead as their debut album Echoes Of Deep November scooped up not only Metal Storm's prestigious debut album of the year, but also our doom album of the year. Three years have come and passed since then, but time is immaterial when you have an album as timeless as Air Not Meant For Us playing.

Immediately drawing you in like the doors to a great hall are opened before yourself, the grandiose symphonic opening of "Harbingers" gives way to a crushing, yet equally expansive sound of melodic doom, soundtracking the scene that plays in your mind as you listen. Not only does it introduce the album in style, but it does a solid job at setting the band's stall out early; if you haven't yet heard of Fires In The Distance, then this is just a sample of what the group is capable of.

Perhaps the band's secret weapon, one that separates them from the rest, is their ability to inspire your mind to conjure up images as you listen, taking hold not only of your conscious mind, but your subconscious one too. Air Not Meant For Us manages to keep its hold on you from start to finish, allowing you to escape the world and slip into its realm of audio escapism. The decision to use live orchestration instead of samples is one that enhances this ability greatly, sounding more dramatic and powerful thanks to Randy Slaugh's ability to seamlessly weave these haunting refrains into the likes of "Crumbling Pillars Of A Tranquil Mind".

Being able to shift between these varying passages gives the likes of "Adrift, Between The Listless Waves" their charm, with the guitar duo of Grimaldi and Savonin able to shift between powerful riffs and melodic passages with ease. Grimaldi's hoarse vocals fit the music well, if not sounding a little generic in the grand scheme of things, providing the rough to the music's smooth.

The few shortcomings Air Not Meant For Us have, are more what the album doesn't have rather than what it does wrong. Perhaps the most glaring is that the album would benefit from seamlessly transitioning from one song to another, providing a continuous audio experience instead of one broken up each time one song segues into the next. The fact the band are able to do this multiple times between sections mid-song seems only to highlight this overall absence.

Given the high bar the band set for themselves with Echoes From Deep November, you could excuse Fires In The Distance for struggling with trying to follow up such a strong initial showing. Seemingly effortlessly, Air Not Meant For Us confidently raises the bar further, proving the album was no fluke. If reading this hasn't already communicated the need to listen to this for yourself, then I'll tell you in no such uncertain terms to go listen to this right away.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 8

Written on 11.04.2023 by Just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.


Comments: 8   Visited by: 215 users
13.04.2023 - 08:54
Yes sir ! on my to do list ! cant wait actually
13.04.2023 - 10:54
Rating: 8
JoHn Doe
I will definitely check this one out.
I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.
13.04.2023 - 11:05
Rating: 8
Very enticing write-up - I did like the debut a lot, but am intrigued that 2 of the 3 pre-released songs are longer than any on Echoes...
13.04.2023 - 11:47
What a great effort.
14.04.2023 - 00:52
This is Finnish doom at its finest, only thing is these guys are Americans.
01.05.2023 - 03:19
Rating: 8
Read this review when it was posted. Listened to the single 'Harbingers'. Preordered the cd---listened to it today. Not disappointed. Thanks for the review
20.08.2023 - 08:05
Rating: 9
High bar set indeed. It will be really really difficult to top this album in the future but I for one will be waiting anxiously for the next Fires In The Distance album to drop.
Leeches everywhere.
19.11.2023 - 00:53
Rating: 9
I am such a dumbass that I thought ID Software was another doom band when you mentioned it in your review... then I remember the great game that I played for hours back 2020...

Great review. Great album! 🍻

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