Review: Fire-Toolz – Rainbow Bridge

Now we’re back into the territory of “I heard about this artist via Adult Swim”, this being from the 2018-2019 Adult Swim Singles Program. I’ve said before that my #1 single from that run was “✓ BEiNG” by Fire-Toolz, the musical project from Chicago-based multi-genre musician Angel Marcoid. She’s had quite a few projects under her belt in the last few years including the recent Field Whispers (Into the Crystal Palace), which was my #1 album of 2019.

Hearing some of the singles for her new album Rainbow Bridge like “It’s Now Safe to Turn Off My Computer” and the title track had me curious, but there’s also the fact that we’re getting another album just 9 months after her last one came out. So, how did Rainbow Bridge turn out?

Come on guys, you know this is something I’m definitely going to click with from the jump.

Elements of genres like vaporwave, new age, screamo, and avant-garde sounds are all thrown in the mix here and it all comes out sounding unique, whether it gives you JRPG vibes or the image of any type of cyberpunk media. “(((Ever-Widening Rings)))” has some electrifying moments with the guitar work and the instrumentation that’s reminiscent of an early 90s anime, and the screamo lyrics also give it an interesting angle.

Love melts the ice
And what we thought was in the way is the vessel
Ice turns to water and hydrates the whole world
Send it all to our sun
Strong back, soft front
Grace unfolds in space
The ground is the eye

“angel (of Deth)” has that old 90s percussion/drum sound but slowed down a bit as I often recognize that drum pattern in most songs back then. The title track has an impressive opening, going all metal and screamo before transitioning into this laid-back glam electronic sound like music you would hear in the start of a ’90s video game. This track is also noted as something of a dedication to her late cat, Breakfast.

Please don’t be mad that I cut your cord
Fear lodged in my gums
Pressing into my face with finger-like force

In fact, Breakfast is an integral part of the album if you hear the sporadic meows throughout and is even on the cover art as the cat heading to a bridge to the great beyond. The latter half of this album has more of an ethereal, ambient sound including the weirdly-titled “ER = EPR ~ EoE (EP ∆ P = ER)” (no, I don’t know if the EoE has something to do with Evangelion) and continues on with “ 觀音 Prayer For The Abuser (abridged),” but the screamo/metal sounds do continue through there and ends with “{Screamographic Memory}”, closing things out on an ethereal note.

Rainbow Bridge still continues the wild experimentation of genres but delivers it on a more crushing feeling in its execution. It’s another consistent and invigorating project coming from Angel Marcoid, and I continue to be amazed by what she can do and what she can craft.

FINAL VERDICT: Buy It. The Rainbow Bridge is open for this album.

RAINBOW BRIDGE is on Hausu Mountain and is available to purchase on CD, vinyl, limited edition cassette, digital download and streaming services. It’s also available to purchase on her BANDCAMP.

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