In this day and age, we have succumbed to genres of music that have no meaning or are just easy to produce for the masses…
The hard-working band tends to be out there in multitudes but not many of those bands get the cut or have the life or road experience behind them.
Hand Of Fire is one of those bands, for whom, through hard work and mass determination to get things done, was picked up quite quickly by fast growing and diverse label Rottweiler Records. Thrash metal is a genre that still has a grounded fan base and foundation in the underground. Jim Settle (vocalist) isn’t a stranger to the metal scene, through years of toil he has also made the role as the frontman of Vengeance (formerly Vengeance Rising) one of Christian music’s most well-known thrash metal bands.
Nuclear Sunrise is the debut album from Hand Of Fire that really reaches to the thrash metal roots of the genre.
“Let the Killings Begin”, started so much differently as I would have thought since its head showed up last year in 2016 on Volume 1 of the Rottweiler Records sampler. I was quite disappointed at first hearing the song as I thought it lacked the punch it once had, however I realised that they were keeping to the traditions of those before them in making it what it has been made today. But still a kick butt song.
“Some Will Say” – I’m being judgemental in my thoughts but, I speak my mind in what I think, the next track cranks it to the higher level of crunching guitars from Tiago de Souza who reaches the definition of hitting the climax of thrash metal. This track mixes vocals very well with Jim’s raspy voice (very similar to Devon Townsend) and clean vocals, the solos shred and keep with the tempo of the song,and a really great mix of current thrash melodramatics takes it to the next level.
“The Prophecy” is my favourite of the album. Usually the third song within the album is the song you need to hear to understand the heart of the band in sound and message. Brutal and fast is this melodic masterpiece with a bout of low-downs. Sheer brilliance if I don’t say so myself, and brings you back to the old Slayer days of intense action seen on any special album. Once again the solo kicks and has the right touch to keep with the structure of the track.
We all “Reap What You Sow” which is the next track that is more melodic throughout, speaking on the current stance on America at present times, or if not, in Western society in general. All about listening to lies that are given to us via media (NOT US) during division of what is going on with politics and the opposite actions of others…in keeping with the old hard music ways, it’s a truly thought-provoking song.
“Nuclear Sunrise” is next on the bill and floats on the same boat as the last, equally complimenting each other in musical equity. Quite an intense song that speaks truth no matter how you put it, it has that …….
……spark musically and lyrically that makes you think deeply about how we are.
“Bleeding Out” seriously takes you on a journey continuing on with the message perceived, just think of old school Vengeance Rising coming through this song, in intensity with an edge that has not been heard for a very long time. The quality and the maturity found in Hand Of Fire is shown in this, with aggression used in the right way, for the intended need, fast paced and traditional from the word go.
The deepened foundations of the band are finding their niche and grasp as “Burn It Out” gains control, melodic in pieces it mixes the old and the new into a whole new perspective, keeping with current thinking and trends within our current societies, Hand Of Fire touch on very close and personal issues among the problems of today in a real and in your face way, but keeping to the intensity of the structure of the song.
Then we “Walk” into the last track, completely in awe of the seriously old-school thrash metal feel they can muster, with shouts that give that extra boost, gut-wrenching licks, riffs and a solo that engages the listener to the wholeness that Hand Of Fire have brought for the whole album.
End note: A truly great release from the band, we have been waiting a long time for this. But I guarantee you this album Nuclear Sunrise is worth the wait.
Rating 9/10 Christian Sullivan