Micawber have already made quite a name for themselves over the last decade despite the challenges of self-releasing their recordings. They’ve produced two albums and three EPs, to growing enthusiasm among fans and critics, and have participated in 25 tours across North America and Europe, supporting such bands as Sepultura, Vader, Vital Remains, and Internal Bleeding, as well as appearing at numerous metal festivals. But with their new third album, Beyond the Reach of Flame, it could hardly be clearer that the band’s ambitions are still soaring.
Among other things, this new one will be released by Prosthetic Records, who know a good thing when they hear it. For another thing, Prosthetic and Micawber turned to the great Dan Seagrave for the cover art, and the record was mastered by Ryan Williams (Black Dahlia Murder). But even more importantly, the band have also stretched their creative wings on the new album, incorporating a broader range of metal genre elements into their core death metal sound and upping their game both in songwriting and in performance.
We hasten to add that this is not empty PR talk. It is backed up by what you will hear today, as we present the debut of an electrifying track from the new album named “In Shadow and Light“.
Before sharing some thoughts of our own about the song, we’ll begin with Micawber’s own comment about it:
“‘In Shadow in Light’ is inspired by the ’90s video game Shadow Man where a man possesses the ability to crossover from the dead to the living, fighting the undead in order to sustain life in the human world. We are excited for the release of this song because we feel it is the strongest representation of where MICAWBER is heading musically, while still retaining the old school death metal sound we have grown from.”
The song really is electrifying. “Explosive” would be another good word. It’s also a metal-guitar-lover’s wet dream.
Blasting drums and rapidly darting and leaping fretwork rocket the song forward right from the start, and as it surges ahead the band inject an array of thrashing and boiling riff-work, segmented by bursts of rapid-fire jackhammering, punishing rhythm-section detonations, and brief moments when the band’s frenzy abates to change the mood.
The vocals are just as explosive as the instrumental work, with ravaging roars and gang howls reaching crescendos of livid ferocity. But we suspect what will really stand out most strongly for most listeners will be the guitar soloing — and there’s a lot of it in the song, accented by dual-guitar performances. Some of them are fluid fret-melters that go off like fireworks behind your eyes, and some are slower, moodier, and even more enticingly melodic.
In a nutshell, the song is a great way to introduce a very promising new album.
Beyond the Reach of Flame was recorded at Carp Town Studios in Two Rivers, WI, by Nick Weyers and Marc Birr. It will be released on May 25th by Prosthetic on CD, in limited-edition blue and white swirl LP editions, and on all digital outlets.
Micawber are also supporting the release with tours — a European one has recently completed, and the band will soon begin a U.S. tour with Internal Bleeding, Fleshgore, and Sacrificial Slaughter. Below you’ll find the current schedule, as well as the album’s track list and a pre-order link.
Beyond the Reach of Flame Track List:
1. Full Denim Jacket
2. Beyond The Reach Of Flame
3. The Starless Sky
4. Icon Of Extinction
5. King Of Ash
6. In Shadow And Light
7. Funeral March
8. The Currents Of Causality
MICAWBER TOUR w/ Internal Bleeding, Fleshgore and Sacrificial Slaughter
4/17 – Lefty’s live music (Des Moines, IA)
4/18 – Lookout Lounge (Omaha, NE)
4/19 – Hodi’s Half Note (Fort Collins, CO)
4/20 – Kamikazes (Ogden, UT)
4/21 – Spring Meltdown (Lake Tahoe, CA)
4/22 – Diamondz Event center (Jerome, ID)
4/24 – Smiling Dog Records (Billings, MT)
4/25 – The Garage Bar (Moorhead, MN)
4/26 – Lee’s Liquor Lounge (Minneapolis, MN)
4/27 – Every Buddy’s Bar (Chippewa Falls, WI)