This next band is another one that I’ve found since I started my Twitter account. When I first started my account, I was scrolling through my list of followers and noticed how many bands were following my page. I felt impelled to go through them and start sampling each band, a ritual I still do. I came across the band Fire Garden, and was immediately drawn to their music.
Fire Garden is a five-piece band from Chicago, consisting of Kevin Pollack on vocals, Zee on guitar, Frank Lucas on the keyboard, Chuck White on drums, and Barry Kleiber on bass. When listening to their recent album, you can hear the many bands that have influenced them throughout this album, which is one of the main reasons I love listening to them. On their Bandcamp page, production notes are given, where key sound figures in rock music are noted in working on this album. From bands like Dream Theater, to Rush, to Porcupine Tree, the influences are heard in their most recent album “Sound of Majestic Colors.”
The opening song “The Joker” immediately draws the listener in, with a narration of what seems to be one twisted joker speaking to the audience. Once the joker ceases speaking, you are punched in the ears with deep heavy guitar riffs, reminiscent of songs like “As I Am” and “The Enemy Inside” by Dream Theater. This track is loud and heavy, a great way to open any progressive metal album.
Despite the heaviness of the opening track, the entire album isn’t necessarily the same intensity. In fact, some of my favorite songs off this album are the “slower” songs on the album, being “Alone” and “Far from Grace.” The lead guitar towards the end of “Alone” is reminiscent of Porcupine Tree, being one of my personal favorite bands. The clean rhythm guitar in “Far From Grace” is a great change of pace, and is beautiful when backing the lead guitar and vocals. The end of this song is absolutely beautiful, when Kevin Pollack sings his heart out. The keyboards in other songs are also fun to separate from the rest of the band, as Frank Lucas reminds me of my favorite keyboarder Jordan Rudess. In the songs “The Last Step” and “Time Machine” I feel they are particularly written around the keys, as Lucas steals the show with his solos and other effects. Chuck White and Barry Kleiber are a perfect complement to the band as a whole, as they help drive each song to another level with their groovy bass lines and passionate drumming.
My favorite thing about this album is the musicianship and quality that is evident in each song. Just by listening, you can easily tell the amount of detail and effort that was put into this album. This is not an album that was slapped together by a band in a bind. The use of different guitars, the multitude of sound effects, the frequent time signature changes, and the well thought out solos make this album stand out among the others. The production behind this album is fantastic, thanks to band member Zee.
I highly recommend this album to those who love any form of progressive music. The influences of key bands in the progressive rock and metal industry are clear in this album, but Fire Garden is not afraid to differentiate from them. Their sound is a tip of the cap to those in the past and present, but is also a fearless step forward into uncharted waters. Please support “Sound of Majestic Colors” by Fire Garden!
Side note: For those bands who follow me and are reading this article, please know that I do check all bands that follow me for potential future reviews. Do not be afraid to follow me or send me a message!
Please enjoy a complimentary listen of “Sound of Majestic Colors” from Bandcamp below: