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Eternal Home Daryl Worthington , October 15th, 2021 08:41

The latest from Fire-Tools is quite the trip, finds Daryl Worthngton

For Deleuze and Guattari, Kafka’s The Castle is a book with multiple ways through, the meaning changing depending on which entrance the reader chooses. Fire-Toolz’s fourth album on Hausu Mountain, Eternal Home, is too doused in vibrant light to be Kafkaesque, yet this idea of multiplicities resonates. As though an existential crisis has been pulled out of the air and rendered to audio so the listener can make their own sense of it.

Angel Marcloid’s music as Fire-Toolz is a riddle wrapped in an enigma exploded through a reality bending sonic onslaught. Surreal electronic vistas bleeding into blast beats, new age transcendence melting into gargantuan shred. Eternal Home stretches that world and its dualities even further. ‘Shenpa Indicator Light!!!’ goes from smooth keys and sax through arena-rock glitch before shedding the glitz in a blaze of screams and frantic drum overload, all of it ultimately melting together in fractured equilibrium. ‘Yearning = Alchemical Fire’ bends electronics reminiscent of R Plus Seven-era Oneohtrix Point Never into a radiant, light-bathed black metal gallop.

This sense of rupture hits a peak on ‘I am a Cloud’, a doom muzak ballad which sees Marcloid swing between broken pastorals and the slippery nature of reality itself to find her own space in the confusion: “The days spent in my meadow, I profess, life is a film.” The tracks here are epically scaled in their diversity, but it feels necessary for encircling the overwhelming cosmic and mental weight which dominates them. An enormity which resists a single interpretation.

It’s tempting to keep tracing the different sonics imprinted in Fire-Toolz’s music, a hint of jazz fusion, the surprisingly jangly guitar on ‘Where on Earth is My Sacchidānanda?’, or ‘[Maternal ♥ Havening]’s blast through drum and bass. It’s also tempting to dismiss everything as made from quarks and leptons, but doing so only tells you so much about what matters in the world. Latching onto the slithers of familiarity in Eternal Home distracts from the disarming bigger picture.

Eternal Home is music forged in the maelstrom, but it’s firmly pointed towards whatever light you choose as your solace. That’s felt most poignantly on ‘Thickflowyglowysparklystingy_pain.mpeg’, the album’s triumphant highpoint which sees a mighty riff act as defibrillator to fire you back out of the void. This sprawling double LP’s sheer intensity doesn’t feel intended to alienate the listener, so much as accompany them in processing the mind frying enormity of everything.