Fire-Toolz : Breeze

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Fire-Toolz Breeze review

Among the various projects she’s been part of, Angel Marcloid’s solo project Fire-Toolz is her most grandiose to date. Through Fire-Toolz, Marcloid weaves a tapestry of musical extremity that comprises death metal, grind, screamo, vaporwave, ambient noise, jazz, deathcore, and much more. Each Fire-Toolz release makes for a cerebral and emotional experience, Marcloid incorporating personal narratives alongside her technical wizardry. Breeze, her latest self-released album, is no exception.

Thematically and lyrically, Breeze is shaped by the joy Marcloid experiences through “mundane trappings of suburban living”—the joy that comes from being with her wife, their pets, and the calmness of her life. A listener new to Fire-Toolz might wonder how such thematic exploration is possible if one is employing the aesthetics of extreme music.

For Marcloid, heavy music doesn’t have to represent negativity: it can also be expressions of clarity, catharsis, and happiness. Take the song “To Every Squirrel Who Has Ever Been Hit By A Car, I’m Sorry And I Love You” for example: Roughly the first minute of the track revolves around abstract strings of breakbeats and keystrokes, the combination offering this charming, yet dissonant appeal. The IDM presentation expands to incorporate more breaks and drumbeats—Marcloid’s voice exuding a black metal snarl—to then drop into a deathcore breakdown suddenly. Following this, Marcloid alternates back and forth between these two forms of mood.

One can likewise argue that there’s an anger coming from this very same song, but that would be undercutting the nuance of the track’s emotional depth. One way to read the aggression is that it’s a processing of grief—a meditation of the little joys life has to offer that can be wiped away without thought. There’s also the acknowledgement of those little wonders: the rush of joy we feel when we see a squirrel skip by us. Marcloid’s artistry is abundant with these nuanced approaches to composition—both in terms of instrumentation and emotion.

In “Labyrinthian EMDR,” she lays out a soothing ambient drone that crackles and snaps, giving way to a vibrant EDM beat. While the song eventually transitions back into that ambient tone, the calming throughline never departs; even as Marcloid is shouting in her black metal snarl, the playful kick only serves to further intensify the meditative power of the tune. Marcloid displays a masterful understanding of compositional layout throughout each one of Breeze’s tracks; through the incredible abundance of sound featured in any given song, the musical chaos is orchestrated in a way to feel natural. Whether she’s leaning in on deathcore thrills or vaporwave chill, she structures tones and styles to serve the album’s overall joyful feeling.

Breeze is another superb entry in the Fire-Toolz discography. With anything Angel Marcloid creates, we can always expect to find emotional depth, artistic layers, and sincerity in her work. For years, she has crafted several albums of fascinating technicality, constructing sonic landscapes that are at once mediative, surreal and thought-provoking. With Fire-Toolz’s Breeze, Marcloid offers an experience that, amid both its heaviness and tranquil flourishes, exudes an extreme sense of serenity.

Label: Self-released

Year: 2024

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