Fires in the Distance – Air Not Meant for Us

Balance is so important in music.  So many bands have great ideas that end up feeling heavy-handed or poorly executed.  Some bands have a style that really works, though, and they know how to keep the experience from wandering one way or another.  I feel that Fires in the Distance has this ability.  Their new album Air Not Meant for Us is coming on April 28th, and I’m really enjoying it.

Fires in the Distance hails from Connecticut, USA.  I reviewed their debut album back in 2020, and I still listen to it consistently.  The current lineup is Yegor Savonin on guitars, programming, and lyrics, Craig Breitsprecher on bass and vocals, Kristian Grimaldi on guitars and vocals, and Jordan Rippe on drums. You’ll also hear orchestrations by Randy Slaugh and Cymrie Hukill, violin by Cymrie Hukill and Julie Beistline, viola from Julie Jacobson, and cello from Lisa Williams.

They play a progressive death metal with deep doom influences.  Their music is layered and quite dense at times, though the band loves to slice through that heavy atmosphere with gorgeous, sparkling keys or beautiful orchestrations.  I think this album leans towards melody more than the debut did, as the band clearly isn’t afraid to rely more on the piano and keyboards than on the guitars, at times.  Their style is ponderous, introspective, and full of stormy skies, rolling thunder, and calculated rhythms.

And I think they have a balance here that is really attractive.  The vocals are completely harsh in style, but I would say their delivery is far more accessible than you might think.  If you don’t like harsh vox, you might find yourself warming up to these.  Again, the band knows how to bring harmony and balance between the riffing, the melodies, the stringed accompaniment, and the harsh vocals, and no one thing tends to become exacerbating or “too much”.  This album is smooth as butter, especially for the genre.

I also like the lyrics.  They are warm and meaningful, even as they explore important topics concerning mental health and existence.  I feel encouraged and hopeful as this album ends, even though some of the thoughts can be melancholy or even depressing in scope.

Air Not Meant for Us has six tracks, and they feel part of an important package or whole.  Yes, listen to them apart you can, but I feel like this album is best heard all at once.  I find it interesting that the band released the opener and the closer as singles.  “Harbingers” opens the record with lots of strings and keys and riffs, and it might be the most “brutal” song overall.  I really like it, but it only gets better from there.  “Idiopathic Despair” is the closer and features spoken word.  I’m not sure who it is, but the thoughts are meaningful and communicate the basic idea behind the album—the same voice was heard on the debut.  I like the guitar work in the second half as the band lays into it pretty hard.

The middle four tracks are my favorites, though.  “Wisdom of Falling Leaves” is the other single, and it is an instrumental track that is laden with melody and piano.  I love how concentrated and bright it feels.  If you don’t like harsh vox, this might be a track to try.  “Crumbling Pillars of a Tranquil Mind” is my favorite on the album.  It contains plenty of strings and pinpricks of keyboard light.  I love its feelings of darkened cinema and its wistful ending.  The song is just strong across the board.  “Adrift Beneath the Listless Waves” is a winner, too; it’s another instrumental track and the keys are absolutely beautiful on it.  I like the nostalgia of the central guitar lick, especially near the end.  Finally, “Psalm of the Merciless” is a “classic” track from the band, as new as they are.  You might be tempted to sing along with the tasteful harsh vox, as the chorus is one that grabbed me right instantly.

Fires in the Distance are perfecting their sound, and Air Not Meant for Us is proof of that.  I really like their balanced offering of doomy metal with progressive twists and turns, but I also love their reliance on strong melodies and bubbling ambience.  I’m curious to hear them live and see how it translates.


Find Fires in the Distance online:



Prosthetic Records


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