Black Tower
The Secret Fire

Black Tower is a Canadian trio that play a form of punk/thrash/power/heavy/black metal that’s a perfect fit for Unspeakable Axe Records, and might actually be their best release yet. And while that mish-mash of styles might overwhelm some, it’s going to appeal to a lot of folks, as it’s done with an awesome retro but fun and fresh delivery that makes it as addictive as hell.

Now admittedly, its not all roses, as the traditional heavy metal croons of lead vocalist and guitarist Erin Ewing are a bit flat, as are the back up vocals of her two male compadres Dave Monomania (drums) and Skottie Lobotomy (bass), even with few blackened hawkish screams here  and there, that keep things on the more extreme side (i.e “Shadows”).

But The Secret Fire is about riffs- rollicking Maiden-y, punky (some of these riffs I can picture on an Offspring release), fist raising riffs laden with a twangy Harris-y bass and its all brought together by Topan Das (yeah, he of Fuck the Facts) and a nice analog sound that gives everything a clear but organic sound. Throw in lyrics and imagery all dealing with Tolkien based mythology and you have a complete package.

The likes of opener “Death March” (with a great video using the 80s fantasy cheese movie classic Sorceress), personal favorite the criminally short “Black Moon” with a deadly chorus and some 70’s style keys which litter other tracks), “Winter”, “Dark Lord” and the blacker, aforementioned “Shadows” and “Dragon Flies” will have you yelling, head banging and first pumping in your car with the windows down. It’s the perfect summer metal album.

A few tempered moments like “Riders” and  “Night Siege” will have the lighters out, though not full on ballads as the album is still pretty well a rocker from start to finish and has become my new guilty pleasure when I need time away from HM2 buzzsaws, breakdowns and growls.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
June 1st, 2015

Comments

  1. Commented by: Juan Manuel Pinto

    I like how it is some times hard to tell if it´s a woman or a guy singing.
    They share a similar style with Iron Dogs, which also happen to be from Ottawa. Classic heavy metal mixed with punk attitude.


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