“The nice thing about Fire! (and Fire!Orchestra) is that you are always surprised, although you know after a few notes that it’s definitely Fire! – Mats Gustafsson on saxophones, organ and live electronics; Johan Berthling on bass and Andreas Werliin on drums. They named their new album Requiēs which is the Latin word for “rest (from labor)“, “intermission“, “break“, but if you think the music is going to be leisurely or tranquil, you’re wrong (no surprise, actually).
Requiēs is a one-sided EP, which consists of one track that is split into two parts. The first one is a classic Fire! piece, which quotes earlier albums: as on She Sleeps, She Sleeps the music starts with chimes, but while it was single notes that reminded more of Black Sabbath on their 2016 album, it’s ringing bells on the new one. The tone is set: less melancholy, more spookiness instead. As so often the band has invited some guests, this time Sunn O))) guitarist Stephen O’Malley and Refused drummer David Sandström, a tongue-in-cheek bow to their love for drone metal. Bass and guitar lay out gloomy, heavy textures, over which Gustafsson plays the same note no less than 94 (!) times. Then again, it’s various and exciting due to his vibrato and the rhythm, sometimes he also creates long pauses, and towards the end of the first part he accelerates the pace. In general it’s reminiscent of a foghorn (something he obviously picked up from early Peter Brötzmann). The absence of percussion in the beginning of the track makes you think you’re standing in a cave listening to eerie noises. Then, about halfway through the first part, the drums kick in and prepare the music for the second part – psychedelic, cosmic kraut rock.” -Martin Schray, Free Jazz Blog