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Spirits of Fire: Spirits of Fire

The much talked about superstar 'dream team' that Frontiers Records has been promising finally sees the light of day with the release of the self-titled debut from Spirits of Fire, the new project featuring Tim 'Ripper' Owens (ex-Judas Priest, Iced Earth, Yngwie Malmsteen, Charred Walls of the Damned), Chris Caffery (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Savatage), Steve DiGiorgio (ex-Testament, Death, Dragonlord, Autopsy, Iced Earth, Sadus, Charred Walls of the Damned), and Mark Zonder (ex-Fates Warning, Warlord, Chroma Key, Redemption). Unless you've been living under a rock the last 30 years, none of these guys will be unknown to you, all having spent time with some of the biggest heavyweights in heavy metal, and now they are together trying to create some magic in this new configuration under the Frontiers banner.

The label itself is no stranger to amassing talent and making it work, and that is also indeed the case with Spirits of Fire. "Light Speed Marching" kicks things off in furious fashion, and was also the first track released from the album to whet everyones appetite for what was to come. It was a good choice, as it's one of Spirits of Fire's heaviest tracks, Ripper screaming up a storm over a cavalcade of testosterone fueled riffing courtesy of Caffery and the gymnastic grove pumped out by DiGiorgio and Zonder. "Temple of the Soul" follows, another lethal metal monster, making for a tremendous 1-2 punch to get things going here. Things take a turn for the melodic and certainly proggy with "All Comes Together", Caffery laying down a wealth of tasty harmony guitar parts and a flashy solo, and the title track features more stellar, dazzling guitar from the TSO mainstay, Owens eventually exploding with a violent barrage of screams amid rhythmic thunder and massive riffing.

Acoustic guitars bring you into "It's Everywhere", a mid pace rocker that sees a more subdued vocal from Owens, but it's a chunky tune with a nice hook, which leads into the atmospheric metal of 'A Game", a real slow builder with the vocalist snarling with no shortage of venom. It's Judas Priest styled mayhem on the rampaging "Stand and Fight", before Caffery unleashes some of the albums meatiest guitar thunder with "Meet Your End", a killer headbanger complete with wailing vocals, booming bass, crushing riffs, and Zonder's acrobatic stick work. Easily an album highlight. The band return to more melodic & anthemic fare with "Never to Return", Zonder attacking his kit with plenty of aggression and Caffery tossing is a tasty solo. "The Path" again takes an atmospheric journey, a tranquil opening giving way to a screaming Ripper and layers of acoustic & electric guitars, before Chris launches into an onslaught of heavy riffing. The mellow closer "Alone in the Darkness" closes out the show, and is the least successful track here, as Owens just sounds out of place in crooning mode on a more ballad styled song, something Caffery himself might have been able to tackle with better results.

Overall though, a very strong debut from Spirits of Fire, an album brimming with aggression, attitude, and ferocity, yet still highly melodic at the same time. Whether this will be a 'one and done' project for all involved remains to be seen, but these guys sound tailor made for each other, so hopefully Spirits of Fire will soar yet again. In the meantime, folks will be able to get a lot of mileage out of this debut.

Track Listing
1) Light Speed Marching
2) Temple of the Soul
3) All Comes Together
4) Spirits of Fire
5) It's Everywhere
6) A Game
7) Stand and Fight
8) Meet Your End
9) Never to Return
10) The Path
11) Alone in the Darkness

Added: February 14th 2019
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1064
Language: english

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