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Fire-Toolz, '[ Maternal ♥ Havening ]'

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Fire-Toolz makes much more sense when you accept that Fire-Toolz doesn't. Or, at the very least, when you know that the Chicago wizard's highly detailed electro-metallic fusion comes from a sprawling sense of taste, as well as from the way everything clashes and gets cozy together.

The 78-minute double album Eternal Home is, as you might guess, quite stuffed. It's also brain-twistingly vibrant, so here's a way in for the curious: "[ Maternal ♥ Havening ]," featuring a squid-monster music video in both 2D and 360° VR, distills the blitzed Fire-Toolz ethos down to a two-minute banger. Black-metal screams and glitched vampiric beats rise to the surface, but cut into the hyperplane of the song and you'll find an effervescent melody that plays tricks on the ears; blink and you'll miss the modulation that heightens the drama. And yet the track is bookended by serene synths and RPG-inspired narration, in the process setting aside a meditative space to join Fire-Toolz in her ascension.

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