CITY OF FIRE, featuring Fear Factory vocalist Burton C. Bell and bassist Byron Stroud, will release their self-titled debut album via Candlelight Records on August 24. The album, recorded at renowned Factory Studios in Vancouver in late 2008 with additional material completed in April of this year, features Bell and Stroud with guitarist Terry Murray, drummer Bob Wagner (Econoline Crush), and guitarist Ian White. The album features fourteen songs, including remakes of The Cult’s “Rain” and T-Rex’s “Children of the Revolution.” It will also include the band’s video for the song ‘Rising.’
Bell says, “CITY OF FIRE is the culmination of our life’s musical influences. It is a mature approach to a sound that has been lost in today’s music. Do not approach this album expecting to hear the sounds of any of our other bands for this is altogether a different beast. Based in hard rocking groove, psychedelic, and post-punk sounds of the ’70s and ’80s, this band experiments without restrictions or conceptual boundaries. The world is our palette, and we are using every color to our advantage.”
Awareness of CITY OF FIRE has been about for well over a year but only now will the record find proper American and Canadian release. Metal Hammer editor Alexander Milas calls the record, “absolutely incredible. I can’t say enough about how diverse the record is. It is not a Fear Factory record; it is something completely different and unique. It is heavy and beautiful… so, so gorgeous.” Popular metal website SMN News adds, “CITY OF FIRE is a surprisingly organic and melodic album full of great and diverse songs.”
It was early 2008 when the Cobalt Hotel in Vancouver hosted the reunion of Canadian-born Stroud’s old band Caustic Thought; a popular local band that had not played together for twelve years. Little did the bassist and his old band mates (including Wagner and White) realize that this special evening would light a spark that would take the reunion further than they initially expected. Later recruiting Murray and adding friend/band mate and lone American Burton C. Bell (also of Ascension of the Watchers, G/Z/R, Ministry) the spark had now become a spirited new band.
Bell explained to Noisecreep in 2009, “Byron and I have always talked about music and realized that we had many similarities between us: the same music likes and dislikes. He knew that I would love the music he and the guys were creating and he was right. When I first heard the music I was pretty excited.”
Discussing the album’s two unique remakes and the decision to include them, Stroud notes, “‘Rain’ really fits well with the concept of the record and the vibe of Vancouver, which really influenced CITY OF FIRE. I have been wanting to do a version of that song for a long time and once we started writing the record, I knew this was the band to do it.” Murray adds, “aside from being a killer rock song, we chose ‘Children of the Revolution’ because we felt the title was a relevant commentary on the climate of the world today. Kids have a lot to revolt about these days and hopefully this will be an anthem for it. We knew that Burt’s voice could give this song a modern edge to it, and make it for this generation.”
CITY OF FIRE will see North American release just as Fear Factory finish up their Canadian run of dates which will include their performance at Montreal’s Heavy MTL Festival where the band will appear alongside Megadeth, Slayer, Mastodon, Korn, Rob Zombie, Lamb of God and more.