Eternal Home is a brilliant auditory tapestry unlike anything Angel Marcloid has produced before.
Spanning a total of nearly 80 minutes, several movements, and countless genre shifts, Angel Marcloid project Fire-Toolz returns with the dense, multi-layered Eternal Home, an absolute monolith of sound and a shining example of progressive creativity. Eternal Home mixes prog guitars and keyboard with industrial beats and harsh screamo vocals that are bound together by jazz elements and hyper-pop energy; it’s a unique, off-the-wall experience, a record to listen to thoughtfully and unwrap as it goes along.
But with Fire-Toolz, the devil’s in the details. If you were to isolate the guitar parts of Eternal Home, you would immediately (and correctly) identify Angel Marcloid as an impassioned fan of Rush, here delivering respectful imitation of the influential progressive guitar work found on the prog-rock band’s records. This proves to be the perfect foundation upon which to paint with the sounds of nearly every genre imaginable, and Marcloid spans decades and eras to that end, successfully entwining influences that seem otherwise unimaginable together. Simply put, there’s a whole lot of sound happening at any given point on Eternal Home. But while many artists would be left to languish within a chaotic mess, one of Fire-Toolz greatest strengths is cohesion, and here crafts a solid narrative throughline that engages the listener even as it shifts and slides into the next segment. Jazz compositions wash like waves, followed immediately by an electronic trance; while obviously profoundly different in surface style, Marcloid’s brilliance comes in reveling in their similarities rather than dissonance, a remarkable challenge for even the most talented producers. Indeed, there’s a particular genre element for just about everyone to find on this record, though Fire-Toolz smartly avoids anchoring the work in any one sound, forcing listeners to follow the album’s eclectic sonic rhythm. Producing a great work within a single genre is challenging enough, and it’s that much more difficult to deliver greatness across multiple genres on a single record, but Eternal Home manages to thrill across a whole litany of genres while sounding almost effortless in the process. This admittedly doesn’t result in the easiest or most comfortable listening experience, but that’s really only a barrier for those unwilling to be challenged by an artist’s reach.
Let’s just state the obvious: music, as an artform that evolves (as all must), expands to fill the shape of our humanity, universal in the breadth of feelings and provocations it can inspire through sound and language. Eternal Home attempts to establish and speak to that very universality in less than 90 minutes, building with a vast sweeping soundscape that, while at times inaccessible, is a brilliant and singular take on our relationship to music itself. It’s a challenging work, to be sure, but sublime in execution. The positive spin, then, is that Marcloid creates an auditory tapestry here unlike anything she’s previously constructed; the more cynical take is that she makes it tough to imagine her ever topping this effort.
Published as part of Album Roundup — October 2021 | Part 4.