Album Review: Let's Take a Trip with Firmam3nt
With Boise having all the charm of living inside a 5,000 year old glacier, I thought it was high time to find some music to match the environment. While I was looking for something cold and isolating, I found a true gem from the warm, sun-baked lands of the Iberian Peninsula.
After a few clicks on Bandcamp, I came across Firmam3nt, a doom/post-metal/progressive band from Madrid, Spain. And, following a few listens (and ultimate purchase) of their debut album, cold and isolating wasn’t really want my body wanted anyway.
Sometimes, ice and snow is enough drive a man outside into the harsh elements with no warm jacket, boots or matches to start a fire. But Firmam3nt saved me from a frozen death and took me where I needed to be.
There are four songs on Firmament: ‘North’, ‘East’, ‘West’ and ‘South’. At first, I thought the band and I would be going on a journey, trying each direction until we found the ultimate destination. Rather, each song is its own journey, leaving the listener blind as to where the band will take you with the next section of the song.
Huge selling point on the band: Firmam3nt doesn’t recycle the same riffs over and over again. Each song starts one way, and shifts off into multiple directions. By the end of the track, we’ve charted a new course in hopes of finding ourselves.
‘East’, the second song on the album, is a perfect example of the journey. It opens with a prog-riff that has a Mastodon vibe, and quickly shifts into something completely different. I’m guessing if you could tap into the brain of someone with bipolar disorder and listen to the ebb and flow of the person’s emotional state, you’d hear ‘East.’ The heavy riffs are set off by happy solos, with a bluesy-breakdown early in the song… and then we get right back to a booming noise.
But then we travel ‘West’… to where we stand on the beach and wring the last rays out of a sleeping sun. This song is a DNA helix, weaving back and forth from heavy and damning, to a soulful, progressive 1970s garage band that went undiscovered. ‘West’ sums up what I really enjoy about the sludge/doom genre: distorted guitars, heavy, thunderous drums with the pace kept by a clean, technical bass guitar.
What sets Firmam3nt apart from other bands are the prog elements that are in each song. Their sounds is more than just down-tuning to drop F and beating the ever-loving hell out of the strings. That sound can fit an emotion or a day, but it starts to grind on your being after a bit. You end up wanting to hear something to pick your spirits off the morgue floor.
Firmam3nt is charging you whatever you’d like to pay for the album. As usual, you can listen to the entire album before you buy! But, this is worth your hard earned dollar (or euro… or pound… or… you get the picture).
And if you want to hear music that's not on your radio, check out my full Bandcamp collection here.