Black Fire is the name of the debut release from Leeds based Hundred Year Old Man. Black Fire was released on the 25th of August via Gizeh Records and precedes a 12inch EP due in January before a full length album joins the mix in 2018.
Hundred Year Old Man are a 6 piece playing a heavy hitting mix of doom and post metal. The band consists of Paul Broughton on vocals with Owen Pegg on guitars and also provides vocals. Tom Wright is also on guitars while Aaron Bateman looks after the bass. Dan Argyle is on the keys and sampling while Steve Conway looks after the drums.
Hundred Year Old Man, in their own words, are a band who are trying to do things differently. I applaud that. I love young bands pushing the envelope. It really raises my excitement levels for hearing the single. As well as the single, Black Fire, there is also a cover of Pink Floyd’s Welcome to the Machine and a demo of a track called Disconnect as “B sides” for you to check out.
The main part of the single, Black Fire, is over ten minutes in length and is a really broody and sludgy track. It is also very layered. It comes in slowly bringing a heavy and dark atmosphere with it. Distorted guitars and a slow thumping drum build layers gently before roared vocals, echoed and faded behind the main riff come in. These layers of doom and sludge build to suffocating levels before a gentler guitar line breaks the clouds. That is just a brief respite though as the song explodes back in with a little more pace and a crunching riff. The roared vocals fade to cleaner shouts as the guitars ring out on a sea of bass and distortion.
As the song progresses it moves into different sections including a part where the track slows down a little and there is a long spoken word section. It sounds like an added sample but sits wonderfully in the song. This ends with powerfully roared vocals over a nice melodic guitar section. This builds again but this time the guitar riff that comes in is higher toned and cleaner, almost like a ray of sunshine bursting through the sludge and doom. It reminds me a little of how Ghost Bath added their celestial elements to Starmourner. Being over ten minutes long, there is plenty of time then for the clouds to cover that ray and the song ends with a huge crescendo of crunching riffs, pounding drums, layered effects and multiple vocal lines.
Black Fire is a really compelling song. There are so many different elements and highlights that the ten minutes just fly by. The vocals are really strong and the song is structured really well too. It manages to invoke different emotions as it moves through phases. Every note or beat from every instrument fits perfectly in place. You can tell that the band have worked hard to hone their exact sound. It was worth it too. Hundred Year Old Man said they are planning to do things differently and Black Fire shows they are more than true to their word. As a promise of what is to come, it is extremely exciting.
Check out the official video for Black Fire here. You can pick up a copy, as well as a few different bundles from Gizeh Records here. Find out more about Hundred Year Old Man by checking them out on Facebook and/or Twitter. Make sure you give them a like and follow while you are there.
Black Fire by Hundred Year Old Man (Gizeh Records)
The Final Score - 8/10