Bright Fires: “Initia Nova” captures every twinge of emotion

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Bright Fires is a Houston, Texas based post-hardcore/emo band. Their album title “Initia Nova” means new beginnings in Latin, and that’s exactly what it is for the band, as they had some member changes and decided to change their name and start from scratch. Truthfully, you could listen to just the instrumentals of the album and come away feeling impacted – the music moves this album in such a way as to capture every twinge of emotion. Nevertheless, the vocal work pierces you at every turn, whether angry, sad, defiant or empty.

Even as the themes cause you to swallow hard, the band’s delivery of each song finds a poignant beauty. Tracks like “Hey Dreamer” and “Only a Memory” fire away with crunchy guitars and soaring choruses. The screeching guitars battle the angry defiance of the vocals on the latter track in a way that is deep and anguished.

The technical execution and overall production of the record helps it go down easier than you might expect, whether the band is soaring through the chords of “Never Ever” or relatively calming down with the haunting melody of “Paragraphs & Parallels”. “Initia Nova” is a rock record through and through, and even its quieter moments pack a punch.

The jangly guitars of “The One to Blame” give the vocals the opportunity to explode with emotion during the song’s chorus. As the EP swings back and forth on an emotional pendulum, you ache for the narratives to find both relief and release, as it reflects on relationships, purpose and loss, traveling through the stages of introspection, and peering in on loved ones along the way.

As much as “Initia Nova” is a great EP, and it certainly is, it’s also a sobering reminder of the personal internal wars that so many face. Bright Fires has all the potential to explode from an indie-emo afterthought to a highly sought after act.

Bright Fires have used their ability to write thoughtful, intelligent, heart felt lyrics and taken that to a higher level by incorporating rich and solid instrumentation as a backdrop. These songs contain lots of emotional depth and convey their message to the listener with energy and grace coupled with an unpredictable edge. These guys did a kick ass job producing a great recording with addicting songs that will keep you pressing the repeat button on more than a few occasions.

It really doesn’t matter what type of music you listen to, I think most people can get into this EP. The drummer will blow you away time and time again, while the music introduces you to the pulsating bass and crunchy guitars that are in your face but also show a nice dynamic range.

The lyrics and vocals then pull you in and never let go. So if you’ve usually been avoiding emo influenced bands, now is the time to stop. The musicianship and songwriting is flawless. Bright Fires is one of those few post-hardcore/emo bands that are still able to catch your attention from beginning to end.

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