For 20 years Rune Grammofon have made a habit of releasing music that is beyond easy classification, in later years typified by Swedish trio Fire!, consisting of Mats Gustafsson, Johan Berthling and Andreas Werliin.
All three are highly accomplished musicians, but Fire! music is not "difficult" in the sense that jazz and especially free jazz is often perceived. Very much a tight knit unit with three equal players, Fire! has been likened to powerful guitar led trios such as Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience, but with Berthling's heavy, doom laden basslines being such a typical identifier, we can't help but thinking of Black Sabbath's debut album when it comes to hypnotic impact.
The Hands is the trio's sixth album and once again displays a totally uncompromising and intriguing mix of (mostly) heavy, dark and intensely burning music whether one decide on calling it jazz or rock.
The album closes on a quiet and reflective note with the appropriately titled "I Guard Her To Rest. Declaring Silence".
And we say it's easily their best so far.
1. The Hands
2. When Her Lips Collapsed
3. Touches Me With The Tips Of Wonder
4. Washing Your Heart In Filth
5. Up. And Down
6. To Shave The Leaves. In Red. In Black.
7. I Guard Her To Rest. Declaring Silence.