ASKA - FIRE EATER (Pure Steel Records)
(Review by Officer Nice)
Since a few years Aska belongs to the list of my favorite bands. This band from out of the US of A delivered two masterpieces with “Avenger” and with “Absolute Power”, two records that any Heavy Metal fan should own. The songwriting of this band is from an exclusive high qualitative level, on this particular point they can easily compete with the biggest bands on earth. As above they have a singer in their ranks, mister George Call, who has a superb throat. Yet the band didn’t succeed breaking through, maybe their music is too dated for the big crowd, I don’t know…
“Fire Eater” was actually announced last year but for some reasons the release was postponed. Meanwhile George Call joined forces with Banshee to help them release their best effort ever, my favorite album of 2012 by the way. A track that saw the light of day, or should I say the way to the Internet, last year was “Everyone Dies”. It’s a typical Aska song, a direct attack to steal the soul of the listener. And it works, it’s a first class Heavy Metal track in which George Call constantly hits high notes. This man has an enormous rage and it’s such a pity he left Omen. I didn’t hear the new Omen yet but I can’t hardly imagine this band was able to find a better singer. As above George Call was able to bring Omen to a much higher level…
“Valhalla” is another typical Aska song, epic all the way and it proves again how good these song writers actually are. This song contains outstanding guitars, strong drums and of course superb vocals and the refrains keep on playing in the mind. Yet I don’t feel overwhelmed anymore as I used to be with the previous albums. Don’t get me wrong, Aska still overgrows a big part of the Metal scène which contains, let’s be honest, tons of mediocre bands. If you want to hear True and good Heavy Metal Aska is and stays the perfect answer. Also songs like “Red Cell”, the best track in my opinion, the beautiful “Angela”, “Son Of A God”, the epic “Year Of Jubilee” and “The Last Message” are great to hear. I only doubt the Judas Priest cover “The Ripper”, a good but alternative cover from these Metal Gods but I don’t know why Aska performs a cover.
What I keep on adoring are the emotional vocals of Mr. Call. His special – a bit raw- timbre touches the listener and easily brings them under his spell. The high screams of this charismatic man are Godlike. But this man isn’t only a fantastic singer, he’s an awesome guitar player as well. If you like touching leads, again Aska is a good answer. This album is full of twin leads, contains superb breaks and is ideal for fans of old school Heavy Metal! Add a good dark atmosphere and well-chosen samples and you’ll get the idea what this is all about.
With this release Aska grows again by getting more Progressive, a bit more Epic but the brand stays that these Americans belongs to the best bands on this globe, musical wise, and they are at the top of the US underground Metal scène. What I do miss a bit are songs that really overpower me, tracks that could make it as a ringtone for my handy like for example “Crown Of Thorns”. This is ‘an sich’ a fantastic album but over the years I became harder to Aska because it is after all a favorite band. So I can’t say it’s their best effort ever but it’s a beauty, no doubt! Check http://www.askaband.net .
My Points: 87 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard
50- : Rubbish