Boomkat Product Review:
Mats Gustafsson, Johan Berthling, Andreas Werliin and Mariam Wallentin burns up texts by Erik Lindgren along with an 18-piece ensemble of jazz, noise, rock, and classical hot shots, collectively known as Fire! Orchestra.
“As brilliant as their previous album "Enter" is, with "Ritual" they have outdone themselves and produced a beast of beauty and power, extremely well executed, beautifully recorded and produced from only two days in the studio. Free improvisations, spontaneous horns, keyboard frenzy, abstract electronics, guitar mayhem and not to forget; those glorious twin voices of Mariam Wallentin and Sofia Jernberg. It´s about mysteries and rituals; in music and in life.
Fire! originated as the trio of Swedish improv masters Mats Gusfasson (sax), Johan Berthling (bass) and Andreas Werliin (drums). None of them are what you could call jazz purists; they all play in many different groups and contexts, including The Thing (Gustafsson), experimental folk-electronica outfit Tape (Berthling), and skewed blues-pop unit Wildbirds & Peacedrums (Werliin). Sofia Jernberg and Mariam Wallentin have been on board since the beginning, the same goes for horn players Niklas Barnö, Jonas Kullhammar, Mats Äleklint, Per Åke Holmlander and Anna Högberg. Basically a Swedish ensemble, the orchestra now also counts Norwegian, Danish and French players. Members of Fire! Orchestra share a wide background, combining jazz, improvised music, contemporary music, rock, garage, psych, and what have you. As they proclaim on their site: "Please make up your own genre and mind - listen freely - don´t buy our labeling attempts... labeling sucks". A sentiment that basically sums up Rune Grammofon as well, so we couldn´t agree more.”