Frozen by Fire - Let the madness begin 3.5/5

Reviewed: 3-27-09





Tracklist:

1. Descent into madness
2. Let the madness begin
3. Going out of my mind
4. Back from hell
5. Lonely night to kill
6. Fire in the eyes
7. Cold dead hands
8. End of the line
9. Fight to survive
10. I wanna know why
11. Tearing me apart
12. I'll be there


Hailing from Las Vegas, this 4-piece make their CD debut with a sound that is a combination of straight heavy metal and hard rock style, which might call to mind CDs like Wrathchild America’s 'Climbing the walls', those from early W.A.S.P., ASKA’s 'Nine tongues', or Pantera’s 'Power metal' (which I know doesn’t make sense if you haven’t heard pre-'Cowboys from hell' Pantera).

Singer (and also lead guitarist) “The Joblin” comes across with strong hint of Americanized John Gallagher, and the music overall is not too far afield from the earlier Raven CDs with just a bit less speed and aggression. That drawling metal voice certainly brings a lot of character to the music, and pulls you in with undeniably catchy songs and pretty deft songwriting, even if he’s not the greatest technical singer on the entire CD. “The Joblin” and “Mon Jills” portray the serious metal side of the band with their sharp riffs and even some nice Maidenesque lead work. “Dr. Garnet” on bass and “Rich E. Graves” hold down a solid rhythm section with a lot of strong feeling, and the production overall for this independent release is simple but clean and clear.

The CD starts off with pretty solid, upper midtempo anthems in “Let the madness begin” and “Going out of my mind”, while “Back from hell” has a bit of a darker and more powerful edge to it, and “Fire in the eyes” kicks off with the most speed on the whole CD “Cold dead hands” is a witty rock and roll take on Mr. Heston’s famous gun comment, while the CD ends with “Tearing me apart” and “I’ll be there”, which have a bit more of the hard rock styling, but even those are done pretty well, especially in the songwriting.

Undeniably independent and fresh, the CD could certainly benefit from a bit more polish or refinement here or there (although I can understand people arguing that even that rawness is appealing), but the spirit and feel of the music is normally enough to carry it through, and overall I've had a very good time spinning this. It’s the type of CD that you can really recommend to your metal friends to enjoy because of the slight change of pace it offers, and the shortcomings can be pretty easily overlooked. If someone really is a hard rock fan, then they’re even more likely to enjoy a solid slab of that mixed with good solid metal. Here’s looking forward to what they might be bringing forward in the future.



CRAIG




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