Genre: Heavy Metal
For some unknown, at least for me, reason, bands trying to revive a musical genre or are inspired by a past era whether they are (wanted or not) retro or not, are not treated in the same way. The key element is not the personal elements the band incorporates into its music or how much their influences are filtered or the quality that characterizes the group and its compositions. Even the performance of the band comes second, since the choice of the decade that formed the band’s music path works catalytically on how the average music listener and the crowd in general will see it. The 70’s have attracted much of the audience who loves the analogue approach, warm sound and vintage aesthetics. At the same time, the 80’s are treated as outdated and the bands that serve this sound as outcasts. As if the music does not sound analogue, as if there were no songs coming through the soul of the guys entering the studio… Hell Fire hailing from San Francisco don’t give a crap about all that, therefore in their second album they offer us eight tracks of pure metal, just like that overly – badass metal that scorched the earth during 1982-1985. Traditional sound, with modern production that does not lose track of atmosphere, 8 gorgeous and well-written songs that praise the idols of their creators, without exposing them as mere imitators. With solid bases, as translated from the obvious Rainbow influences (check ‘Free Again’ and ‘Wheels of Fate’), they do the logical thing and assimilate their stimuli before they transform them from good ideas into excellent compositions. The Dio – era in Black Sabbath is definitely a great influence on both vocals and guitars, of course Maiden elements can be found too, while there are many scattered elements of Raven (‘City Ablaze’ which evolves after its pompous introduction to a proto – speed metal song), Grim Reaper (‘The Dealer’) and Blitzkrieg (‘Live Forever’). In the final track of the album ‘End Of Days’ they appear even more melodic and emotional with a ballad following the footsteps of Scorpions and Michael Shenker Group. The passion and joy of singer Jake Nunn (who you may have encountered in Sentinel Beast) overcame his vocal weaknesses and transformed into a very critical frontman. What really makes ‘Wheels of Fate’ a solid opus is that, besides guitar solos, is the excellent vocal lines and the adhesive refrain. Same goes for ‘Live Forever’ that is fast-tempered with its simple yet galloping riff. In ‘Beyond Nightmares’, they are reminiscent of the early Overkill era with the speeds flirting with thrash and Kill’ Em All attitude, as they do in ‘Destroyers’. In general, Hell Fire are barging into the Heavy Metal circles without compromises. Twin guitars, high pitched vocals, a bunch of New Wave of British Heavy Metal elements, a ’70s fined touch and a mood for speed where it’s mostly needed, without exaggeration ore beyond reason. Long Live the Heavy Metal Underground!!!
4,5 / 6