As someone that written album reviews for over a decade, I’ve learned to accept that there are some reviews which just don’t come easy. Sometimes because it’s difficult to put into words just how mind-fryingly amazing some music is. Or sometimes it’s the flip of that, where there are no words strong enough for you to convey how much an album should be avoided. Sometimes though, a review is difficult to write, because the album itself has a quality about it that is so elusive, so difficult to pin down, that you may as well be trying to bail the rising water out of a sinking rowing boat using a fork.
Feed the Fire is an album that doesn’t take any attempt to categorise or pigeonhole it kindly. A bit frosty, a bit aloof, laden with synthesisers, yet possessing a humanity that the very best music simply has to have, it’s an album that frustrates any attempt to pin it down. One moment it prompts the mind to produce gothic visions, next you seem to be listening to the soundtrack of a programme detailing the perils of life within the Arctic Circle. It has moments of lightness, but generally it conjures up shifting shades of grey, some light and hazy, other’s growing darker and darker until you are consumed by the inky blackness. Yet throughout you are continuously led by Billie Lindahl’s voice, compelling you to follow, regardless of whatever unsighted perils may lay ahead.
Feed the Fire is an album that’s a bit narky, a bit heartbroken and often starts a train of thought that the listener can struggle to follow. Yet follow it you do, because the music of Promise and the Monster is so compelling.
As often as Feed the Fire eluded me, it is an album that repays perseverance, as it’s one that slowly reveals it’s multitude of layers over repeated listens until you realise that it’s not an album that you put on because you’re in a certain mood, but one that gets reached for because you want to go on a journey where the destination is as yet undetermined. You may never really guess where it’s leading, but it’s certainly advisable to wrap up warm.