A Slice of Shredded Larynx Pie!

Eyes of Fire
Ashes to Embers
Century Media

You should know that the deceptively Goth-looking quintet Eyes of Fire can craft surround-sound supernovas in their sleep—and in less time than those anti-climactic build-ups that Tool specialized in on their past two discs. In other words, brutal ethereal is no paradox for these ex-members of Huntington Beach/Costa Mesa's Mindrot—it's a way of life. This is nowhere truer than on tracks such as "Empty," "Fear" and "One More," all of which thunder as furiously as a brawl on Mt. Olympus. It's the same turgid-aggressive dynamic the band unveiled on last year's EP, Disintegrate, but which gets a noticeably larger platform for this full-length debut. The band are still dogged by the same space-metal tics: dual-key arpeggios coupled with John Haddad's tribal drum fills and haphazard ride-cymbal ping; circular storm heads of feedback that swell and deflate; Dan Kaufman's morose monotone trading off with Matt Fisher's barbarian howls—it's enough to make a band like Neurosis scream copyright infringement. Also troubling are the Emo 101 lyrics ("You were the one that was there all along/So how can these feelings be so wrong?" from "Hopeless"—or the how about the grim doggerel "Through your eyes, I see lies/Cold from inside, and it's my last goodbye" from, well, "Last Goodbye"). But the larynx-shredding execution renders those complaints moot. With a conscious sense of symmetry, Ashes to Embers opens and closes with the candelabra-in-the-haunted-manse vibe. You know the drill: piano plinks dripping with melancholy between pregnant pauses, not to mention reverberating sustains that ripple and fade. If nothing else, it's a satisfying coda to Ashes' chaotic emotional arc.

Contact: www.eyesoffire.us.

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