Fires in the Distance make luminescent death-doom. While the Connecticut band's crushing guitar work and cavernous rhythm section tie them clearly to the hybrid genre, sparkling piano lines and sweeps of synth adorn their songs and add buoyancy to their otherwise heavy music.

This is as true on forthcoming full-length, Air Not Meant for Us, as it was on their last proper album, Echoes from Deep November—However, a new drummer (Jordan Rippe), guest musicians, and the nearly three years that have elapsed since their debut give Air Not Meant for Us additional sophistication without fixing what's not broken with the band's melodic sound. As in their previous work, the album is full of moments that feel simultaneously grandiose and personal.

These changes come through clearly on "Crumbling Pillars of a Tranquil Mind," which finds guitarists Kristian Grimaldi and Yegor Savonin (the band's principal songwriter) unleashing glinting solos amid panning piano and currents of live strings. If many death-doom tracks feel like an oppressive weight on the listener, Fires in the Distance instead seem to be aiming for acrophobia, with the song reaching giddy heights on the back of echoing keys as the bass circles menacingly below. The massive scale is fitting for a song that ruminates on the pain and chaos of human existence. We're premiering the video for the track - watch it now.



These textures recur on other tracks throughout the record. Though Fires in the Distance wasn't intended to go beyond one album, the band has clearly recommitted to their sound and now plans a tour in support of the upcoming record in the fall. I spoke with Craig Breitsprecher, Fires in the Distance's bassist and co-vocalist, about Air Not Meant for Us and what's next for the band. The following interview has been lightly edited for clarity.



Echoes from Deep November came out right in the middle of the pandemic. What’s happened with the band in the two and a half years since?

We've been hard at work ever since Echoes dropped, most notably introducing our new drummer Jordan Rippe to the band after amicably parting ways with Kyle Quintin, who was starting a family. We devoted 2021 to writing, rehearsing, and solidifying the material for Air Not Meant For Us and went on to record and then tour in 2022.

This new record seems to have a psychological bent to it. What’s the story behind Air Not Meant for Us?

While this record was fueled by introspection and personal experience, we intended for the audience to find their own story with this record. With respect to how this record came to be, it's worth noting that when we recorded Echoes, Fires in the Distance was intended to be a one-time studio project; however, with the positive feedback and relative success, we had a much more cohesive, confident, and self-aware experience recording this album.

With that said, we had just about every logistical hurdle thrown at us in the process. We almost had our drum sessions at Power Station New England canceled due to COVID-19, had to navigate a blizzard on our first day of drum tracking, and clocked nearly 130 hours driving from Connecticut to Asheville, NC for string and vocal tracking. It was challenging at times, but once the red lights went on and it was time to perform, everything came together musically.

You still deploy a lot of melodic elements here, including what sounds like live strings. Did you bring on any guests for the new full-length?

We sure did. In 2021, we received an email from Randy Slaugh, most known in the metal world for his work with TesseracT, Periphery, and Devin Townsend. After consulting with our producer, Dave Kaminsky, we thought live strings and pianos would be a natural addition to our music. This record features James Tomedi from Burial in the Sky for a guest solo on "Adrift, Beneath the Listless Waves," Cymrie Hukill and Julie Beistline on violins, Julie Jacobson on viola, and Lisa Williams on cello.

How does the band split songwriting duties?

Craig: Yegor Savonin is our chief composer and mastermind. He is an incredibly gifted songwriter and has always been open to feedback and allowing us to have the space to add our personal flair to our parts. He's an incredibly gifted songwriter and an even better friend, so it's an honor to help bring his vision to life.

How soon will you be taking Air Not Meant for Us on the road, and what sets your live show apart?

While touring is a tough balance to strike between our personal and professional lives, we're in the process of planning an Autumn 2023 U.S. tour and have a couple of festivals booked. Our shows are heavy, honest, and heartfelt, just like our music. For any promoters or aspiring festivals that are interested in having us play, don't hesitate to reach out!


Air Not Meant for Us releases April 28th via Prosthetic Records.

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