Brymir – Wings of Fire

Finnish Symphonic Death metal heroes Brymir  released their third studio album Wings of Fire on 8.2.2019. At first listen, it felt a bit chaotic and not recognizably Brymir, but after getting into it a bit more, well, it still felt chaotic but not necessarily in a bad way, and I could recognize a bit more of that Brymir sound. In this album, they seem to be going farther away from nordic/folk themes and more towards themes seen in power and symphonic metal, more fantasy and mythos of other cultures (lots of positive imagery, power, light, flying and celestial imagery). The solos through out the album are great, but occasionally feel misplaced. For example, “Starportal” might be the darkest song on the album but then there is this very rock’n’roll/heavy metal solo thrown in that doesn’t fit the rest of the mood of the song. There are also a few moments where there are chill acoustic breaks thrown between epic blasts of chaos. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I like the variety of vocals from the diversity of growls and shouting to the layered vocals choral sounds. I may be used to a more  straight forward Brymir (I’ve listened to their debut album the most) but this album makes me excited to see them live. Knowing their energy, I am 100% certain this album will translate amazingly live. Specially in a festival atmosphere.

Going track by track, lets start at the beginning. “Gloria in Regum” begins the entire journey with a blast of power and epicness sure to grab your attention. It gives a very movie/game soundtrack vibe with hints of some… I want to say…Asian elements which makes it sound a tad reminiscent to Whispered or Wintersun. The second track “Wings of Fire” sounds a bit more Brymir than first song melody wise, that uniquely Brymir sound (specially in vocals). There’s a nice all around atmosphere from the sound effects to the percussion which provides a bit of depth that was lacking in the first song. “Ride On, Spirit” begins with a very in-your-face symphonic pummeling, and flows right into a chill acoustic break, but only for a little, before continuing head on into the epic symphonic storm of synths, chorus and flying riffs. You could easily imagine a spirit riding some majestic being into the stars, much like the album art suggests.
The next song begins with an intro which makes you feel an ominous “whats coming” which is an accurate feeling to be had. The rest of “Sphere of Halcyon” is 110% full force, epic movie soundtrack style insanity. Images of  crazy pyros, flashing lights, things flying through the air, or rising out of the ground are summoned through out the entirety of this song. All the different sonic styles, from flying solos to racy synths, driving drums and powerful choral vocals create possibly the most chaotic, epic song of the album that leaves you breathless when it ends. “And So We Age” begins with a solid but ethereal intro that carries through the whole song. It gives a positive uplifting atmosphere to the line “and so we age” which might otherwise imply a more melancholic imagery.  The drums and symphonic elements drive the atmosphere along with the more subdued synths. From here it seems the songs become a bit less chaotic and well rounded. Though the chaos from some of the songs of this album is far from a negative aspect, its good to have a balance. “Hails from the Edge” Continues where previous song leaves off – almost as the second part of a whole… this one is a bit more chaotic, and provides a similar sound to the opening track that leaves me feeling like I would not be able to identify it as Brymir. “Starportal” is the darkest song on the album, at times it might be one of my favorites, however, the one thing that bugs me a bit is the guitar solo in the middle that seems extremely out of place. The solo itself doesn’t even sound like it fits anywhere on the album, a much more heavy metal/rock’n’roll style solo that wouldn’t even fit in one of the lighter, more up beat songs. Despite that part, however, I think the song itself is one of the high points of the album despite it being one of the heavier, darker songs. The next song begins with another “whats coming” vibe and an unexpected piano solo. The rest of the song goes back and forth between soft, somewhat whimsical music to brutal death metal with symphonic foundation, and revisits some of the darkness from the previous song. “Lament of the Ravenous” is probably my favorite track off the album. It has a chill but powerful vibe that flows through out, somehow deep but light at the same time. I really enjoyed the diversity in the vocals too. Clean singing vs. Shouting vocals sounded really nice with the slow pace of the song. This slower paced, not so in-your-face ambiance was definitely something the album needed. Less chaotic, focusing on single elements at a time rather than full-throttle 110% all instruments all the time.  Definitely the most solid song on the album…I kind of wish the rest of the album was more like this. “Chasing the Skyline” begins with another welcome acoustic intro, then blasts straight into a very recognizable Brymir sound.  The rest of the song ties in many varying elements from through out the album.  If I had to sum up the album in one song I would choose this one. Then we come to “Anew”. A proper outtro. Also a really nice song to have Noora Louhimo of Battle Beast to appear as guest vocals on.  I also feel the sound in this song has a more nordic sound that was a bit absent in the rest of the album. All in all, it was a very fitting ending to the album.

"Wings of Fire" is an epic ride through chaos, power and serenity
  • Nordic Metal Review
3.5

Summary

Wings of Fire is an epic journey that showcases the diversity of Brymirs sonic capabilities. Soaring through full-throttle epicness and gliding down through more wholesome melancholy, the album as a whole brings new and old sounds alongside positive chaos and unexpected sophistication  in a well balanced celestial package.

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User Review
4 (2 votes)

 

Wings of Fire tracklist:
1. Gloria in Regum
2. Wings of Fire
3. Ride On, Spirit
4. Sphere of Halcyon
5. And So We Age
6. Hails from the Edge
7. Starportal
8. Vanquish the Night
9. Lament of the Ravenous
10. Chasing the Skyline
11. Anew (Ft. Noora Louhimo)

Here is the official music video for “Wings of Fire”