Reviewed by Tony Cummings
During the thrash era, Britain had two bands up there with the best of the Americans, Seventh Angel and Detritus. But then that boom passed and lovers of hard music found little or nothing happening on this side of the pond while in the States hardcore, emo, punk et al continued to grow and diversify. Now at last, with Fire Fly and Kosher, the British have two bands every bit as good as anything the States has to offer and the fact that they've risen to their present creative ascendancy with minimal help from "the Christian scene" says much for their tenacity. Fire Fly, of course, contain vocalist/bassist Si Bibby (once of Seventh Angel) and guitarist Mark Broomhead (ex-Detritus) but have moved way beyond the old formulae of thrash to produce a richly textured sonic assault which, if it must be pigeonholed, I'd describe as "progressive hard music". What makes Fire Fly's sound so arresting is the delicate passages (and let's face it, delicacy is not a word normally associated with heavy rock) where eery synthscapes waft behind Si's haunting voice as he intones lyrics of stark, poetic insight. Then as the music explodes into ferocious passages of howling guitars, there he is howling with intense power across the vortex of sound. In such a classic rock album it seems slightly churlish to pick favourites though "Stain", with its chilling observation, "I've got blood on my hands"; the breathtaking re-invention of the old Maranatha! praise and worship chorus "Seek Ye First", and the heart stopping closer "Remember When" are all unforgettable. The latter, where Broomhead's thrash growl joins Bibby's soaring tones, feature on a complex arrangement to almost turn a song into a heavy rock opera of breathtaking power. As I said, unforgettable.
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