Album Reviews, Dance / Electro — February 11, 2013 at 9:57 am

Review: The Knife – Full of Fire

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Artist Name: The Knife
Title Name: Full of Fire
Label: Rabid Records
Reviewed by: Rory O’Maley

8.0

It was with great pleasure that I opened my email last week to find a new single from The Knife waiting to be explored in my inbox. Leaders of the Swedish electronic movement, Karin and Olaf have been worryingly vague when discussing  their plans for the future. Recently dabbling in opera for Hotel Pro Forma and with a lot of focus on side projects Fever Ray and Oni Ayhun, there was a growing sense of acceptance among fans that a new album completely The Knife’s may not be on the cards. Well, everyone can take a deep breath now because “Full of Fire” has swooped in to shake up the electronic landscape.

The first 10 seconds of listening are as close to normality as you’re going to hear in this tune. Though 4 bars doesn’t leave a lot of room for development, Olaf manages to move the single from expected to obscure in this one short phrase. As a mechanical, upward rolling drum tears across the broken beat structure, it’s made clear that this song is far from the norm, hinting at the overwhelmingly industrial evolution the next 9 minutes delivers.

The structure of the song itself is very hard to place as the drum beat is really the only structural absolute over most of the track. Far from hurting the piece, however, this approach means the song is in a constant state of movement, never becoming dull or repetitive as longer tracks often do. 

For a fan of the group, it’s a slice of heaven. Karin’s unique voice and synthetic male vocals sweep through the track while stabbing highs and sweeping bass drive the tune forward. The wonderful thing about “Full of Fire” is that even though there’s so much of the duo to relate to, the direction and song are entirely new. The group seem to be taking yet another fresh direction with their 4th(ish) studio album and it’s a relief to hear this new incarnation is still as fresh and interesting as their classics.

It was with trepidation that I first listened to “Full of Fire”, fearing a let down from a group held in such high esteem in the electronic community. Thankfully the track is a considered and original piece that has added a whole lot of anticipation to the release of the full LP Shaking the Habitual in March. You can hear the song below as it accompanies a short film by Feminist director Marit Östberg.

VIDEO

The Knife – Full of Fire