Feuled By Fire
Spread the Fire

Many metalheads, including myself, think that metal is approaching a second “golden age” here in the new millennium, with many new, young talented bands popping up virtually everywhere, and some even invading the mainstream. Thrash in particular, especially this year, is experiencing a rebirth of sorts, with several bands surfacing playing that classic 80’s inspired style, and Norwalk, California’s Fueled by Fire is one such band.

Sound wise, the band seems most inspired by the Bay Area style of Exodus and early Testament/Metallica, and even Darkness Descends era Dark Angel – relentlessly fast and uncompromising, there are no slow or ballad-esque numbers to be found here. The riffing, as to be expected, is fantastic and incredibly memorable, and the solo’s are completely shredding.

Spread the Fire is the bands debut offering, originally released last year by Annihilation Records, has been remixed and re-mastered by Joey Vera with two new tracks for Metal Blade. After the very telling of what’s to come intro instrumental “Earnest Goes To Hell”, the album kicks off proper with “Thrash Is Back”, an ode to the return of real thrash metal to the masses, with lyrics centering on the experiences of a live thrash show – crowd surfing, circle pits and the like. Other than “Metal Forever” and the title track, which follow the example of “Thrash Is Back”, the albums lyrical focus is of typical cliché thrash topic – death, destruction and pain, which is not a bad thing by any means, and I welcome it openly – it is thrash after all. Although the majority of the material here is flat out speed, the band does let off bit in moments of the title track and new song “Chaotic Punishment” to offer a slightly slower, mid paced and slight groove based feel – outside of that, this is pure balls-to-the-wall speed laced thrash.

If I had to sum up Spread the Fire with two words, it would be fucking awesome – it’s nice to hear classic thrash with a modern yet not overly slick production – it really helps bring the recording to life. Of all the classic “throwback” thrash bands I’ve heard or discovered this year – Reanimator, Municipal Waste, Warbringer, Merciless Death and Blood Tsunami, Fueled by Fire stands above all, and seems the most authentic – a top ten contender at years end.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
September 10th, 2007

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