For Fans Of
Triple B Records is quickly becoming a recognised hotbed for hardcore’s best up-and-comers – Forfeit, Dead End Path and Downpresser just to name a few. Emerging from this exciting label is also Fire & Ice, who’ve been steadily gaining attention and acclaim within the hardcore scene since the release of their debut EP last year.
The band’s second effort “Grim” picks up right where their debut “Gods and Devils” left off. Like many bands of late, Fire & Ice take heavy cues from early-90s New York metallic hardcore of the likes of Leeway, Cro-Mags and The Icemen. Combined with this highly referential style is nevertheless a distinct air of youthfulness and energy.
Opting for a slightly less heavy sound than comparable bands like Bitter End or Cruel Hand, Fire & Ice have a punkier edge which differentiates them somewhat from the pack. For me this band’s sound lies somewhere between Leeway and Down To Nothing, made particularly the case by David Herzing’s vocals (perhaps because of the fact that both F&I and DTN are Richmond, Virginia natives).
The opener “Breathe” features groovy, tough guitar riffs and culminates in an old-school guitar solo and fist-swinging mosh part. The clean rock n’ roll vocals on “Peacin’ Death” are subtly placed to provide a bit of variety, and for me this was an element that if used a bit more would really compliment F&I’s sound.
“Intermission” as an instrumental is perhaps a strange choice of song to put on a four-song EP, but it’s nonetheless a pretty cool track which will probably be utilised as an intro for live performances. It’s hard not to envision many angry young men pacing side to side whilst listening to this 2 minute exhibition of groovy hardcore.
The 7” title track “Grim” is the highlight of the release, seeing F&I’s hard-hitting riffs and no-bullshit vocals at their best. The wailing clean vocals which sing “the future is fuckin’ grriiiiiimmmmmmm” toward the end are straight up awesome and were stuck in my head for days on end.
Fire & Ice certainly don’t provide anything groundbreaking with “Grim”, but having said this there’s a lot in this short release to make it worth checking out. For fans of the NYC thrash hardcore revival, “Grim” will provide another satisfying musical feast. A sign of good things to come, this release confirms that you should definitely keep your eyes out for Fire & Ice.
2. Peacin’ Death