Artist: Crimson Fire
Release Date: June 3rd, 2016
Label: Pitch Black Records
The second album of the Greek metalheads was released in June. For those who don’t know anything about the band, they are your typical 80s heavy metal band with power riffs, high-pitched vocals and a Judas Priest / Iron Maiden like guitar mashup (among other 80s inspirations).
Now, I am a true heavy metalhead. My music journey started with Iron Maiden after all and I was only seven. Therefore, I always have a soft spot in my heart for heavy metal. In today’s market, people are more into “technical” things and it is really hard to find something with soul. The whole world is digitized and set apart by virtual walls, no wonder we are seeing the effects in the music business. That said; performing a classic style has certain pitfalls to avoid. Crimson Fire avoided some and fell into others with their Fireborn release.
The guitar work is the obvious carrying element of the music of the disc. It screams 80s all over. Same goes for drum and bass sections although they are not as apparent as the guitars. Vocals are a matter of taste in most cases and I have to admit, I am not digging Johnny B’s voice. It lacks certain “oomph”. It may be because of the vocal mix but when it is 80s vocals, having a high-pitched voice is not enough to get things going. It was, after all, the era of epic singers who defined the borders of the genre.
The recording quality is alright. It has certain mixing and mastering issues like levels and compression but I have heard much worse and I bet you have as well. No big deal. Maybe except for the overly compressed vocals.
The real issue is the repetitive nature of the songs. If you observe heavy metal classics, you can see how diversified the songs are. Powerslave is a good example. Operation Mindcrime, Gutter Ballet, The Crimson Idol, Skid Row… You name it. Fireborn is not a bad album but a few songs are more than enough to “get” everything you can get from Crimson Fire. Perhaps a bigger budget production can help the band’s sound. I know, I know… Easier said than done…
Still, if you are into heavy metal, it is a good album to enjoy with a beer or two. Just, it may be advised that you not expect too much. Take to the Skies, Bad Girl are some nice tracks to check.
PS: Guys, have a website.
Johnny B. – Vocals
Stelios Koutelis – Guitars/Backing vocals
Kostas DKM – Drums
Nemo – Bass