Another multi-part, album-lenght big-band jazz-rock composition from Gustafsson,
Berthling, Werliin and a couple of dosen friends, “Enter” is, at least at first, more
low-key than last year ́s superb “Exit!”. It begins in a smouldering crawl, with
Mariam Wallentin softly imploring “Let it all go”. As she shifts into beat poetry and
increasingly frantic, desperate vocal improvisation, the smattering of horns around
her becomes a veritable phalanx, and masses to a furious climax.
The Swedish improv collective ́s first studio session, following 2013 ́s live debut “Exit”, “Enter” is 21st century big band jazz at its most brain-spinning, moving from Motorpsycho second-line metal dischord to stealth-bluesspace jazz opera, designed to punch all preconceptions up the bracket.
The album begins and ends with a sultry Fender Rhodes theme and Mariam Wallentin ́s bluesy vocals,bookending a powerful suite that moves through a deep reimagining of the hook from The Beatles ́ Tomorrow
Never Knows, a massed horn anthem with hints of Chris McGregor and a driving modal vamp. It ́s allliberally peppered with scalding noise electronics, tortured horn skronk and Sofia Jernberg ́s astonishing vocal
glossolalia. Fans of Keith Tippet ́s “Centipede” or Carla Bley ́s “Escalator Over The Hill” will find a lot to love.
Enter has a whiff of Keith Tippett ́s early 70s prog-jazz beast Centipede, as singalong choruses shatter into convulsive, cathartic freak-outs. They ́re led by Mats Gustafsson, whose foghorn sax bkast occasionally threaten to drown out a 28-piece ensemble that ́s heavy on spiky guitar and keyboards, and even bigger on brass. Rousing jazzy blasts rumble against sweaty, Wooden Shjips-style psych mayhem. Monstrous and unsettling.
Fans of Scandinavian noir-jazz is advised to explore “Enter”, a disquieting collision of free jazz and acid-rock by the gargantuan ensemble Fire! Orchestra.
Record Collector (UK)
Fire! Orchestra is an expansion of the improv trio of Mats Gusfasson (sax), Johan Berthling (bass) and Andreas Werliin (drums). In 2011 they started to play with the idea what it would like to work with a giant orchestra.
The idea proved to be a strong one, and they started to invite Scandinavian jazz, improv and rock musicians.
This ended up with the release of their first album ‘Exit’, a live album, that now finds its follow up in ‘Enter’ that is recorded in the studio. This new cd counts four titles simply called ‘Enter part one’, ‘Enter part two’, etc.
The three above mentioned players plus singer Mariam Wallentin composes them. Performed they are by the orchestra that has around 30 members. Truly a big band, and a format that is not often found. The music leans on progressive and psychedelic music from the 70s, with room for improvisation and mad excursions. The use of fender and mellotron make it even more connected to past times. At the base all pieces are constructed around
a slow grooving pattern. The melodic lines on top of it – like in part four – sound not very original or surprising in my ears. Nevertheless it works out fine, as the different sections of the orchestra add much power, interaction and grandiose climaxes. Interesting are some of the intersections you find in each four parts of ‘Enter’. Fantastic
noisy interruptions, for example about halfway of part two, that is to be followed a friendly jazzy sounding part.
Very subtle they integrate different genres. Because of the length of these grooving vehicles, all between 9 and 17 minutes, they bring one in a trance-like state. Gustafson did a good job in conducting this orchestra, andeverything is well recorded.
Vital Weekly (NE)
See more reviews at Rune Grammofon