Eternal Home

Fire-Toolz

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Eternal Home Review

by Paul Simpson

Angel Marcloid's seventh album as Fire-Toolz is a 78-minute double LP, making it the project's most ambitious release so far, which is saying a lot, considering how vast her sonic palette has always been, and how she's explored such heavy concepts with her work. She explains the album's title by stating that Heaven is our Eternal Home, but that "the conscious experience of it is a state of mind" and "it has nothing to do with the afterlife or religious theology." Her music's constant juxtaposition of extremities signifies that despite all the conflict and traumatic experiences in her life, she is always safe at home. By this point, Marcloid's fusion of progressive metal arrangements, black metal howling, and vaporwave textures (including smooth jazz sax soloing) is second nature for her, and she executes every time change, cathartic scream, and sparkling synth tone with finesse and passion. Yet she continues to surprise even longtime listeners with unexpected shifts and additions, while potentially drawing in new fans with her most accessible songwriting to date. Apart from a few longer suites, most of the songs are fairly brief, yet packed with ideas. "Yearning = Alchemical Fire" is a catchy industrial synth pop number with perky synth melodies, and "Shenpa Indicator Light!!!" progresses from clean vocals, stuttering beats, and aired-out saxophone to an easy listening drill'n'bass nightmare in two-and-a-half minutes. A brilliant stretch of songs during the album's midsection lean closer into alternative rock influences than Marcloid's previous work, with "Thick_flowy_glowy_sparkly_stingy_pain.mpeg" having a dramatic mall-goth sway, and "Where On EARTH Is My Sacchidānanda?" somehow managing to blend screamo, shoegaze, and billowing ambient loops without sounding confusing. "Window 2 Window 2 Window 2 Window 2 Window" is an especially frenetic collision of electro-industrial, glitchy noise, and hyperpop, while others like "This Particular Universe Is Friendly ;)" insert panic-stricken post-hardcore breakdowns into cuddly new age. Chaotic yet tightly controlled, Eternal Home is boundlessly creative, and up there with Skinless X-1 as Marcloid's best work.

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