Fanning the flames of classic heavy metal once more is New Jersey's Arctic Flame with their fourth album Shake the Earth. Their foundation and goal has always been traditional melodic heavy metal the best NWOBHM form wash through the raw American interpretation. Likely, because of this, they have found greater success and recognition in Europe.
I recall having some ambivalence with 2011's Guardian at the Gate, finding at slightly better than average classic metal. With Shake the Earth, I believe the band has improved, upped their game one might say. The songs are stronger, more melodic, more compact and efficient, even having a greater rock like groove. The guitar riffs seems larger, even challenging Michael Clayton Moore's significant vocals. The riffs seem crunchy at times, and the solos have a steely wavering feel at times, but there's a lot of them, and that's good. As for Moore, he still has a quite distinct sound, strong and clear, yet sometimes with the timbre of Ozzy.
The traditional metal abounds with Man Made Man, Hangman's Prayer, and Slaves to the Alchemist more steady pieces. Arctic Flame injects some speed metal into the arrangements as within Last Chance and Call the Priest. There's even a sublime metal(?) ballad: Moore singing over a simple piano. What you don't have is a lengthy epic piece like The Eternal from the previous album. But that's hardly a downside. Once again traditional metal fans will find Arctic Flame to be dead on target with Shake the Earth. Easily recommended.
Once again traditional metal fans will find Arctic Flame to be dead on target with Shake the Earth. Easily recommended.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]