Written by Barlow
Fire to The Prisons – Fire to the Prisons EP
Out June 3rd, 2022
Solo artists producing metal of any kind is always such a curiosity, on the one hand being a solo acoustic act or a solo hip hop act has some a kind of sense to it, you don’t need to necessarily have anyone else, and you can put out music at your pace, the same – however – can not be said for black metal. Trying to navigate several different instruments and vocals all on your own seems like such a daunting task – particularly for someone like this writer, who has no musical ability whatsoever. Add to that mix acts like Author and Punisher, who invented their instruments from scratch, and it’s an interesting space to produce art.
With this EP, Fire to the Prisons announces themselves into this space as a force to be reckoned with and someone to keep your eyes on. This solo EP manages to cram elements of just about every subset of the genre into 20 minutes and it’s difficult not to be impressed. FttP comes from Meanjin in “so-called” Australia, and brings leftist politics, resistance, and even depression into the mix for this release. They are very clear and up front even from the name, the prison system is broken and corrupt, burn it down.
The EP is strong end to end, and there is a real sense of anger and frustration throughout. While some recordings are stronger than others on a production end, this doesn’t hurt the overall experience and really does bring a whole lot to the table. To offer a criticism, the shift in production from the introduction, titled simply – into the first song proper, “Fire to the Prisons” is jarring and this may be solved by having the introduction move into “Beltalowda” instead. That said, this is absolutely getting into nit-picky territory, because there truly isn’t much to complain about with this in the slightest.
There are some truly excellent musical chops on display here, and the entire thing being independently produced by one person really does add to that appreciation overall. The riffs are big and sometimes even extremely catchy, there is some solid piano playing on display, the drums are great, plus you’ve got those venomous vocals. There is also a tremendous amount of emotional honesty on display here, you can see that in the lyrics and in the words of FttP themselves. In a brief conversation with FttP they talked about the importance of taking back the black metal space from white supremacists, and how pervasive these troubling attitudes were throughout, but also that this genre was simply too good to just let them have it.
The Bottom Line:
Fire to the Prisons launches into this space with a vengeance, shows off a serious multitude of abilities and announces Fire to the Prisons as an act to keep your eyes on going forward. Apart from some inconsistent production, there is no reason not to get on board as soon as possible. Grab this when it’s available, and show some support.
Fire to the Prisons’ EP will be available June 3rd, 2022 on BandCamp (http://fire2theprisons.bandcamp.com) and you can follow them on Instagram (@FireToThePrisonsMusic) and Twitter (@Fire2ThePrisons)