Spirits of Fire - 'Spirits Of Fire'
Given his history and vocal style it’s really hard to not find yourself comparing any Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens works with Judas Priest and working alongside Savatage axeman Chris Caffery it won’t surprise you to learn that the sound of Spirits of Fire is a Priest/Savatage hybrid. Spirits of Fire are a new band assembled by Frontiers with the mission of creating a classic metal album very much in the vein of Priest and Savatage, which they have done with consummate ease. This debut album will please classic metal fans especially of those aforementioned bands, it may not be the metal album of the year but it is a damn good one that will be enjoyed by genre fans.
There are strong similarities to Judas Priest which is of course accentuated by Owen’s vocals and delivery, the album opener ‘Light Speed Marching’ is definitely from the ‘Painkiller’ school of song writing. The last Priest album was an absolute masterpiece so it’s no surprise these musicians wish to create something inspired by the black country metal icons. This isn’t imitation though, Caffery’s guitar work frequently evokes memories of Savatage’s bombast and song structures, so this album does have its own identity even though the influences are crystal clear.
I also found amongst the classic metal tone of the majority of the album little touches of Eighties Thrash metal, most notably Megadeth, vocally as well as musically. So, this will only intensify classic metal fans enjoyment of the album as a whole. The rampaging drums and bass add a whiplash effect that will make these songs very exciting live as they already jump out at you in the comfort of your own home with compelling energy.
I’m not a huge fan of Owen’s body of work so far, but I was very impressed with his multifaceted performances throughout this album, with Spirits of Fire he seems to have found a band that brings out the best in him and it shows clearly in his efforts here.
It may not be the most immediate album in the world, but albums like this aren’t designed to be commercial, that’s not their appeal. Caffery and Owens with Spirits of Fire have crafted and performed a fantastic slab of metal and if their mission statement was to create an album that fans of Priest, Savatage and classic metal would thoroughly enjoy then they have hands down achieved that!
Essential Track - 'It's Everywhere'
Review by Woody
- Light Speed Marching
- Temple Of The Soul
- All Comes Together
- Spirits of Fire
- It's Everywhere
- A Game
- Stand and Fight
- Meet Your End
- Never To Return
- The Path
- Alone In The Darkness