Firebreather - Firebreather album review

Gothenburg doom ruffians rattle their caves on their debut

Cover art for Firebreather - Firebreather album

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“Riff worship” is this Gothenburg trio’s laudable aim, but sometimes “riff worship” is just a doom euphemism for aimless repetition of ripped-off Iommi chops and self-indulgent, drug-induced chord-jamming. It can’t quite be said that Firebreather’s debut release wholly escapes such pitfalls, but they don’t last long, and this succinct half-hour LP has more than its fair share of fist-raising, shit-eating-grin moments. Crucially, one such is the opening riff, unfurling with seasick unease before blasting into a caveman rampage that reveals High On Fire as far more vital to Firebreather’s MO than any Brummie sexagenarians. Although they only got going last year, Firebreather formed from the ashes of the proggier sludge entity Galvano, so while this band have a more ragged, rugged charm, their chemistry already feels fully formed.

Chris Chantler

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.