Foals: Holy Fire (WARNER BROS.) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, March 4th, 2024  


Holy Fire

Warner Bros.

Feb 22, 2013 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Holy Fire opens with a sense of gravity. A low buzz and a pattering in the distance draft images of cavernous space before the guitar even shimmers into existence. And then it builds, each new instrument stoking the fire. This rings true throughout the album. Holy Fire reveals a band adept at carving out arc and terrain in its music, and demonstrates a big step forward with a newfound coherence (from track to track as well as from instrument to instrument within songs). Each track thoughtfully develops with strong drive, every layer of sound playing a role in concentrating and directing the energy to its resolution.

Lead vocalist Yannis Philippakis shows his range, from gentle to ragged in “Last Night,” then emotionally plain for closing track “Moon.” Drummer Jack Bevan delivers everything from straightforward rock to complex but engaging rhythms. The guitar work is creative and undeniably rhythmic, at times doing double duty as a percussive element.

“Milk & Black Spiders” carries a catchy chorus over the band’s signature glimmering guitar effect. “Inhaler,” the album’s first single, is about as big as the album gets, with post-prog aggression and relentless drive. And album closer “Moon” may be a long way from Holy Fire‘s start in terms of intensity, but it maintains the industrial feel of the album while naturally constricting it to a close as Philippakis reflects, “It is coming now, my friend, and it’s the end.” (

Author rating: 8/10

Rate this album
Average reader rating: 8/10


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.