Fire in the Head special

Almost every week Michael Page aka F/I/T/H/ churns out a new release, as if his life depends on it. This American musican is luckily not only productive, but also responsible for one of the more interesting power electronics projects. This review describes just some of the recent Fire in the Head releases.

As the nest burns (cd, Autarkeia, 2005)
After some demos and cd-r’s, this was the first proper cd of Fire in the Head as far as I know. Released on the label Autarkeia from Lithuania, it contains 7 tracks in just over half an hour. The release has images of war and destruction in the booklet, for which the music forms a good companion. Nasty high-pitched sounds, a wall of monotonous dense noise and at times screaming vocals, somewhat in the background of the mix. A few tracks differ alittle, like the weird droning ambient of ‘One last sunset’. This cd is not very original and not very varied, but pieces like the blasting title track are convincing in their loudness and agression.

Be my Enemy (cd, Audio Immolation Industries, 2005)
45 minutes of ‘hostile noise’ released on F/T/H/’s own label. Again a loud and threatening mixture of power electronics and death ambient, this time with a bigger role for brutal vocals and evil sampled voices, a bit like NTT. There are even lyrics printed at Fire in the Head’s website. Of course don’t expect any romantic poetry. The first line is ‘You have no idea what I am capable of’, but I’m not sure if I want to know at all. I find “Be my Enemy” one of the most interesting releases of the American project so far, because of its greater variation in styles and sounds, instead of plain noise. The bigger vocal/textual aspects also help to give the music a deeper dimension. Favourite tracks: ‘When this no longer satisfies’ and ‘Submit/succumb’.

Come Closer Cut Deeper (Nihilist Records, 2005)
Photos of corpses and slit throats should help me to get in the mood for this record. Again the walls of manipulated noise and screaming feedback sounds are abundant, with angry texts spit out to make it more festive. Some tracks slow the pace a bit down, like the intense soundscape ‘Lie to me’, while others are almost rhythmic (‘The art of obliteration’). ‘Malfunction’ uses lyrics of a classic Cro-Mags track, which I wouldn’t have recognised if it weren’t mentioned in the booklet. A piece I quite like is ‘The last thing you’ll see’, which combines uncomprimising noise with an ominous ambient background.

Meditate/Mutilate (cd, Eibon Records, 2006)
Italy’s Eibon Records has build up a good reputation as distributors of industrial noise, so this release can be seen as a form of recognition for Fire in the Head. Perhaps not surprising that both music and artwork occur to be more professional at first glance. For a change the album does not start with an overwhelming attack of noise, but with a good piece of hallucinatory death industrial/drone, called ‘Darkest before dawn’. The sound of shots and an angry speech form the start of ‘True believer’, which gets louder and denser as it evolves, with the screaming voice trying his best to be heard over the music. Then it’s time for another deep droning piece with industrial sounds, making me think of Megaptera, though the track ends raher noisy. The album continues in this vein, alternating powernoise and death ambient. “Meditate/Mutilate” is the most mature work of Fire in the Head so far. The tracks are built up in a subtler manner and the production is better so you can hear the individual sound elements better, without losing its uncomprimising nature. Listen for instance to a heavy piece like ‘Complete the obsession’.

artist: Fire in the Head
label: Autarkeia