From Ashes is the debut released from Danish based stoner rock band IAmFire and, evidently, was recorded as far back as 2014. I’m unclear as to why the delay between the recording of the album and its eventual release, but the band cryptically say “life is not always a day at the races. We’re extremely pleased to have been able to see this through. We’re all still alive”. They also say of the album “..it’s a heavy and intricate mix of grooves and melodies, and it’s been mixed so it can be listened to really loud”. Thy approached making the album with a mindset of “..Honestly, we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. We just wanna play something we kinda miss in music. Does that make sense?” It does to us.
How to describe IAmFire ? Their description of themselves is as “the mutant love child / offspring / consequence of Swans, Kyuss, Tool, The Cure, Black Sabbath and The Beatles”. This is a particularly interesting list and most of the bands included make some sense, given what IAmFire play and how they play it, and the album is like a melting pot of varying influences, though if anyone can point to anything remotely resembling The Beatles in their music, I’ll take my hat off to you.
IAmFire play a kind of heavy psych rock, with some brutal riffs mixed alongside some dense yet hypnotic melodies, and the whole album is played through a morass of distorted guitar sounds and a pounding drumbeat. The album opens with ‘Magpies and Crows’, a monstrous introduction to any album with a riff harder than anything Black Sabbath ever came up with. This is followed by ‘Did You Find Your Name’, which begins quietly, just guitar and drums, before the track bursts into heavy life. This in places sounds like the Devin Townsend Project, though without Devin’s sardonic humour. The rest of the album follows a similar pattern, with tracks like ‘Burn Your Halo’ and ‘Eyes Wide Open’ laying down some monstrous riffs accompanied by spurts of melodic guitar breaks, along with occasional throat-shredding vocals. There’s even a quieter track in ‘Beamer’, possibly the most melodic on the album. For a debut album, this packs one hell of a punch and, if stoner rock is your thing, there are many worse albums you could be listening to tonight.