Review Summary: Give them pleasure- the same pleasure they have when they wake up from a Nightmare.
Alfred Hitchcock once said, Give them pleasure- the same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare.
The Master of suspense certainly had a good way of translating this to film. Psycho
was the epitome of that. If Mr. Hitchcock were still with us today, he would approve of This is Fire
. The essence of this album is the same as those very words from Mr. Hitchcock. In a way, it seems that Spires That in the Sunset Rise
have their own strange genetic sound. Psychedelic Horror Folk would be the over-all best way to describe it. In complete truth the horror element is what makes this sound so utterly amazing.
This is Fire
has a very haunting sound to it, almost as if it was created to be a soundtrack to a horror film. First impressions come within the opening track, Spike Fiddle Song
in hearing a slow strumming of guitar in a very low tone, followed by the sound of a metal base drum and chimes in the background. Vocalist Kathleen Baird
then enters with her low haunting voice. With a simple, yet effective snare drum, it leads into the chorus. Glorious; Make your mouth dream up; Stories of; Vagrant vines leading up; To Glorious; Make my blood rise up.
This tone gives a listener the good idea that it will be a dark and strange journey while listening to this album. It only gets better from the beginning.
All of the tracks on here have merit in the style this album produces. Both Instrumentally and lyrically This is fire
satisfies. Spires certainly also have a knack for incorporating the theatrical. Clouds
and Morning Song
showcase their love for haunting violin and fiddle chords, as both of the songs open up with them. [i]Clouds take a very slow route for most of the song, using the dark atmosphere produced by creepy background sounds to keep the listener intrigued. It almost reminded me of watching a Dracula
film. Morning song
take a different route. Kathleen displays beautiful vocal skills at the beginning of this song, in the same fashion as a opera singer would. The song leads into a full-on folk segment, utilizing a very middle-ages sound. It transitions into a very somber section of violins, which then leads into what feels like another song all together, almost a middle eastern influenced sound . Morning song
is roughly seven minutes long, and the transitions can seem a little shaky, and at the same time you do not seem to feel as if the track has changed, but you still feel like it is not the same song. It is a very strange feeling, but an amazing one.
shows even more development of this strange sound. Spires utilizes the Xylophone for this song, which works with the slow strumming and fiddle/violin combinations. It seems almost like listening to Godspeed! You! Black Emperor's F#A# (Infinity)
with vocals during many parts of this song. Sea Shanty
Is a nice change of pace mid-album, as it beginning with a very deep drumming leaning more towards a folk start. This track has a lot of different sounds going on at once, and at some points, it can be a little much to try and take in. From the low toned instrumentals to a screeching effect at some points, it makes this song feel like pure genius, and at the same time a little much. Let the crows fly
Start with a slow fiddle strumming, a pause for a gong within the background, while Kathleen softly sings, and this song also contains some of here best moments. The guitar chords add another layer of texture and so do the drums, which blends perfectly with kathleen.
Opens with a combination of cymbals and guitar strumming that sounds like, well bees. A very consistent and steady strumming continues throughout the beginning, along with the utilization of xylophones in the background, a very mid-range to slow pace transitions throughout this song. 7 minutes of this pace seems to work. Never thinking the lyrics Bee, ah, oh, o
would work, Kathleen proves that wrong by utilizing the tone and pitch of her voice to make it work. It gives a very spine-chilling element to the already creepy track. The final track Desert mind
opens up with an organ-like synthesizer, and a very slow pace throughout the track. In a way, it is the most light of the tracks, and has the most guitar utilization of any of the tracks. Not hearing very many electric guitar influenced parts throughout This is fire
, there seems to be relative influence in this song, especially throughout the early parts of the song. The album closes with a fiddle strumming and the same organ influenced sound playing into silence.
The vast number of sounds and styles portrayed in this album are phenomenal. It really felt that there should be a movie made for just this album to use as a score. While at some sections This is fire
could feel like it was too much to take in, that utilization of many sounds, effects and style makes this album as fantastic as it is. For a first time listen of this artist by recommendation, it was an utter surprise as to how different yet diverse this is. If you ever want a Nightmare to gain pleasure from, well here is that pleasure.
Spike Fiddle Song
Let the Crows Fly