A look back at Fire From The God’s full length debut Narrative.
In this Patreon requested album review I was asked to listen to Narrative, the debut full length album from Fire From The Gods that was released in 2016. I was somewhat familiar with the name from hearing the song “Excuse Me” on SiriusXM and hearing a combination of several genres in one song. It’s only now that I get to dive into the band head first and really see what they are capable of.
Fire From The Gods is a five piece based out of Texas that combines rock, rap, reggae and several other elements into their music meant to leave an impact. The debut Narrative according to vocalist AJ Channer goes from personal experiences to philosophical and social observations. According to an interview he had before the album release, Channer said: “With Narrative, I wanted to talk about the political and sociological issues going on, along with what I’ve learned from my life’s experiences. I think people really appreciate the honesty, because I do as a fan when I hear someone open up from the heart.”
Personally, I become much more interested when I know an album isn’t 10 tracks of tear down the house, punch your enemies and party until you throw up. It gives more reason to believe the artists put in effort and wanted to make their music matter as opposed to filling up an album to reach an acceptable time length and get a payday. As I said earlier with my first experience with the band hearing “Excuse Me”, I felt like I was hearing an explosion on genres with a lot of volume. It definitely fit inside the realm or hard rock radio and many people can agree there isn’t much like it on said radio rotations.
“Excuse Me” feels like a consistent transition of rap, metal, rock and reggae and then back into each other in different turns all while the hard sound and speed stays consistent. The guitar riffs are strong and are loud but don’t overtake focus from the vocals. Lyrically, there is a lot to take in and that goes for almost every song on Narrative as well. When AJ Channer said he wanted to talk about political issues along with what he’s learned in life, he really meant it and proved in throughout these 10 tracks. Redemption, revolution, living up to the expectations of media and Hollywood, there is a lot to take in through many different styles of music that gets thrown at you in rapid succession from track to track.
When you listen to this album from front to back you will get a bit of audio whiplash. Just from the first three songs the style goes from hard rock to a ballad to the previously played “Excuse Me” which incorporates rap and reggae. And somehow, Fire From The Gods does this all extremely well. Nothing feels watered down or like an embarrassing attempt. It also sounds natural in delivery.
“End Transmission” was the song that impressed me most on Narrative. The flow from the harmonic guitars and range in Channer’s voice makes everything flow into this gorgeous sound. It was while hearing the singing voice that I instantly made a connection to Lajon Witherspoon of Sevendust and this song reminds me of that band in a lot of ways. I feel that in the combination and demonstration of so many styles that it’s hard to focus on just one. It’s like I said about that audio whiplash where you’ll hear one stile and then get swung into another. That is not a bad thing in this case as they are organized and well performed, but it’s hard to appreciate the talent and meaning involved when you hear it in so many forms so quickly.
Songs like “Diversion” and “Composition” hit harder. Tracks like “End Transmission” and “Evolve” are a bit more melodic. It’s going to really be a personal preference on which songs you go for in Narrative but that might have been the point and strength of Fire From The Gods. To not settle on one thing but to rather give you as much music in as many ways as they can deliver. The music is solid and has good structure. Even if listening to this album from beginning to end may not have the flow some people are looking for, that might be by intention. Fire From The Gods will surprise many new listeners if they listen past the radio single and may get sucked in by the wide spectrum they are capable of presenting.
Fire From The Gods is now going to start their big touring this year with the Monster Energy festivals and playing other venues across the US. If the following picks up and this band can deliver along with the performances on this album, then Fire From The Gods could be around for a long time due to their focus on wanting to make music with a bit more focus. Overall, Narrative is a bold and impressive debut from a band that seems set on throwing the kitchen sink at the rock world. If any of the styles or clips I’ve played in this video have peaked your interested, then you should give Fire From The Gods a chance you might not find another band like it for a long time.