Who says classic metal is dead in America? This year we've had more than a few albums from American bands offering traditional metal. Here's Invasion from New Jersey's Fiakra, signed to Pure Underground Records, an imprint of Germany's Pure Steel Records.
By way of clarity, Invasion is the first album under this moniker. The band was formerly known as Hexen, releasing one album, Dark Crucible, an EP, and a demo. They changed their name since there was a Hexen already established in California. 'Fiakra,' they say, is a variation for 'raven' in ancient Gaelic.
Fiakra's sound is familiar, and rings true to classic Eighties melodic heavy and power metal. There's galloping tempos, big guitar solos, and true metal vocals, no dirty or death vocals here. Themes of war, fantasy, sword and sorcery fill their lyrics. Iron Hooves, Raging Inferno, The Ballad of Brian Boru, and Knee Deep in the Dead are just a few samples. You might hear echoes of Maiden in the lengthier numbers Guardian of Ice or Faith in Hell. Some more folk influences arrive in the brief Suppressing the Rage. Of course, what's traditional heavy metal without odes to the very same. Give Me Metal or Give Me Death offers you a spin of pure studs and leather indulgence. Add the fact that the band often performs in the very costumes in the photo above, including the man skirt (it's a kilt), and you can't help love the nostalgia and theater, along with the music. And, frankly, Fiakra's classic heavy metal is pretty darn good. They get it. Recommended.