Music News

Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire

"Lower Than Life, High as the Sky," the opening track on Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire's new EP, is built on a foundation of death metal and grind, with a sound that's stripped down to its rawest components. The ascending guitar line in "Garbage" makes the music feel like it's about to tip over from unbalanced rage; that song is followed by "Special Education" and "Biracial," two short blasts of crippling anguish turned inside out. At this point, you'd think the band would be taxed by so much emotional outpouring; instead, the EP ends with fluidly corrosive noises that come in torrents and meandering, hypnotic spirals alongside textures that could chisel mountains away. Visceral achieves an electrifying alchemy of despair and rebellion against personal demons.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.