It’s really interesting how the latest album from Fire-Toolz manages to weave together two emotional extremes into an honest catharsis. Rainbow Bridge strings together smooth jazz, metal vocals and the aesthetics of vaporwave to express Angel Marcloid’s emotional rollercoaster. She recently went through tragedy when her pet cat and muse Breakfast passed away. On one hand you’ll be lulled by a calm and serene meadow of glistening synths and harmonies, and on the other you’ll be blistered by a harsh cacophony of screeching vocals. The idea may be jarring at first, but after minutes of listening and knowing the context, you’ll soon realize that it all makes sense.
“Gnosis Oozing” starts as a minute long outburst of metal stabs, followed by glistening synth swells that elevates the feeling of rage, creating a contrast of anger and frustration with glimpses of peace in between. The title track “Rainbow Bridge” expands on this idea. The tension is palpable, but a period of peaceful bliss soon emerges and drowns out the raging emotions in the background. This disparity of sound illustrates the period of grief when you’re sad that you’ve lost someone but relieved that their suffering is over.
“Mego Maitri” is an expression of calm that feels fluid and organic, except there’s a grating buzz of noise that causes a disturbance in the flow. It feels like a celestial journey, where the scattered debris we meet along the way makes the experience more interesting. “(((Ever-Widening Rings))))” dives into a jazzy synth meditation of pure bliss, but even the greatest gurus can be disturbed by troubling thoughts. We get a sobering realization that nothing is perfect. Marcloid has a unique sense of expressing herself, and the harsh vocals that peek in and out signify that beauty has small blemishes and imperfections on the edges, and that’s okay.
“ER = EPR ~ EoE (EP / P = ER)” is another unpronounceable standout. A collage of varying synth sounds weaves and morphs into various movements. An ever flowing exploration of ideas strung together with deep bass sounds and flourishes of static. This track embodies Tolkien’s famous quote: Not all who wander are lost.
Rainbow Bridge is inspired by folk mythology, it is said to be the vessel in which those who passed away are carried off into heaven. This album is a bittersweet exploration of that, in the way that only Angel Marcloid can deliver. No one can deny that the feeling of grief is complicated. Words are not enough to express the anguish and emptiness that it brings, but that’s where art comes in and lends a hand.
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