IAmFire - Eyes Wide OpenFollowing an unceremonious split from The Haunted (again) I was keen to see what musical polymath Peter Dolving was going to unleash on us next. I have long been a fan of The Haunted but even more so his solo work. “One Of Us”, “Just Because You Can Talk, Don’t Mean I Have To Listen” and “Bad Blood” are all works of delicate genius intertwined with angry sarcasm and baleful melody. His most recent outing “Thieves And Liars” was good but not the truly great platter I had hoped for.

Onto IAmFire then. Self-described as “heavy psychedelic, yet brutish grooves inspired by soul and ’70’s rock” this is perhaps the vehicle to really sell Dolving‘s talents to the metal crowd that so embraced him over the years. Way heavier and more trippy than his solo work but with the same enigmatic lyrics and bags of attitude, this kicks off to a very promising start. The minor key mournful tones and wistful melody of the vocal lines that peppered his final work with The Haunted is evident here but seems to gel so much better with the slower, sludgy riffing of Peter Ohlsen (MOB) and Mikael Ehlert (Hatesphere).

With nods to Torche, Earth, Clutch, Sleep and other one-syllable doom/psych bands this is still watermarked throughout with Dolving‘s jarring personality and unique style. He whispers and croons then barks and spits whilst the rhythm section canters along, pulsing and humming and the loose but thoughtful lead guitar work delicately colours the canvas.

The vicious closing section of opening track ‘Eyes Wide Open’ is a welcome reminder that Pete has lost none of his visceral edge and sings with every bit of conviction he always did. Weighing in at over seven minutes it never feels unwieldy and segues nicely into the more paced ‘Burn Your Halo Red’.

Two tracks is not enough to nail my colours to the mast and say whether this is a truly great band or not, but with this mixture of talent (Tech9‘s Ulf Scott completes the line-up on drums) and so much going on in the mix, I think we can say something special is brewing.

IAmFire are due to enter the studio very shortly to commence their debut full-length “The Chariot” and let’s hope that live dates follow soon after. I am genuinely eager to see Dolving once again grace and indeed command stages across Europe and the USA.

He am fire. I am excite.

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