Gods of Fire
'Wrath of the Gods'

(Black Thirteen recordings)

MARK: 94/100



If this monicker should sound unknown, let me have the pleasure to give you a pair of details; after a self-produced 3-song demo-CD, the NY-based 5-piece commanded the attention of Wharton Tiers (Helmet, Biohazard, White Zombie), which excellently produced these tracks in a gritty, raw and clean manner at his own Fun City Studios in late spring 2004. The band is also becoming popular for its fiery shows featuring costume changes, powerful imagery and female backup singers/dancers (Yeah, come make uncle Markus' day!) known as the 'Fire-ettes', which were equally received well no matter if they opened for Metal or hip hop acts.

Each song on the CD draws inspiration from a novel, a movie or a video game and suits the sound image chosen by the pack led by Seth Diamond.
For instance opener "Welcome to Hell"
(not a Venom cover version), already a classic of Heavy Metal and Power, thanks to lively guitars a là King Diamond, quite busy in several different riffs and technical solos is inspired by Konami's Silent Hillìs video game series; the vocals are decidedly between Rob Halford and Tim Owens, rife with overdubs and high crescendos, but they also sound close to the great Geoff Tate in melodic break opposing an acoustic and a distorted guitar, and in the final part, which includes a brief keyboards intrusion.
Opened by an acoustic guitar plot, "City of Gold", is a tribute to Werner Herzog's 1972 masterpiece "Aguirre, the Wrath of God", includes an exhilarating refrain with slapped bass lines and vocals between the early Bruce Dickinson and a bit of Geoff Tate once again. The lyrics deal with the Spanish invasion and colonization of America in the 16th century.
Based on Dan Simmons' novel is "Hyperion", soaked with epic riffs and the best refrain ever before a series of stop 'n' goes; you just can't stand unmoving before such vocals without forgetting the riffs, licks and numerous solos played on Classic metal lead guitars; the end provides for a dramatic closure in a sinister way concerning the rejuvenation first and then rebirth of the main character. Sure a live highlight!
Almost 10 minutes for "The Long Walk", inspired by a homonymous Stephen King's novel; it starts begins with light drums and the shy 5-string bass lines of Doctor Time, with the guitars soon afterwards chiselling their own place piece by piece while the vocals homage Queensryche in a context that permits to exhalt Prometheus' extremely brilliant vocal qualities and theatrical expressiveness. This track presents itself as an 80's US metal anthem with an E-middle guitar riff, effected vocals and a slowdown between the 2 choruses; a brief intervention of Hammond at the end concludes a song composed with deep care for every detail.
A mid tempo characterizes the beginning of "Digital Neon", with difficult vocal lines once again strongly influenced by Geoff Tate; 7 string guitarist Dj Blood Sacrifice and 6-string guitar player Saucy Jack perfectly entwine ex-Astaroth Italian Jan 'Fra Diavolo' D'amore's drumming, when they have to herald a fantastic acceleration embellished by a Malmsteenian solo; another catchy refrain completes the sog after a superb break. It's really hard to describe how good these songs are; I swear in the beginning they sounded like boring, too simple or obsolete, but after paying more attention to the fantasy and good taste put into the guitars and vocal work I changed my idea radically!
The song including the highest vocals a là Judas Priest, Fight and Winters Bane is "Eternally Strong", based on the true story of Ray Brent Marsh, who believed to be the main character of Lovecraft's tale "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward"; actually there are also other screamed backup vocals, a couple of growls and some whispered vocals too; I especially liked the contrast between the acoustic and the distorted guitar at the end.
More Epic metal comes with "The Nectar of the Gods", a battlecry for the current state of our beloved music, directly catapulting us to the early 80's; the Maidenian licks and the Halfordian vocals make it one of my favorites, as Rob is one of my first 3 favorite Metal singers; there are also solos here as usual for Gods of Fire and they owe much to Marty Friedman's style, for the most part in the Megadeth-era. A massive break makes me think it's over but I see there're some seconds more left for an arpeggio, a melodic slow part in which the refrain is repeated differently, in a hopeful manner; a scream achieving the highest peaks of Rob Halford closes this composition.
The closer "Prometheus Unbound" liberally borrows from Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem (and you can realize that in the initial metonymy 'Have not its deaf waves and blind beams' and also in the archaic English used) and skims the 8 minutes; it advances with a twisted riff leading to another tasty refrain; at the halfof the song there's one of the best riffs of the whole CD, then a melodic structure not so distant from Virgin Steele, to which a few orchestral arrangements are added on; the energy explodes one more time and the 100% epic conclusive vocals are repeated, while the guitars first solo and then close with a slow original riff and a final short solo. Sick!

The New York musicians don't absolutely offer anything new yet it's stunning to see how professionally composed, played and arranged "Wrath of the Gods" is. Not only great skill but real artistic songs. Very warmly adviced.


E-mail: band@gods-of-fire.com