Thursday, June 14, 2012


Pure Underground Records

U.S. act FIAKRA, formerly known as Monmouth, New Jersey melodic heavy/thrash metal act Hexen ( under which they released a demo, one EP and a studio-album called "Dark Crucible" in 2008), offer us their new debut album, Invasion", on Pure Underground Records. Although one look at the band's moniker and album art might lead you to assume this was some sort of black metal outfit the true nature of this act is slightly stranger then that. After the initial shock of hearing The Warlord's (yes, that is his name) high-pitched "nails on a chalkboard" banshee howl on "Invasion" (which by the way made everyone in the room, my kids included, both jump and reach for the volume button) the band settles into this heavy/power metal style of metal that is frankly old-school in nature. Two acts that came to mind initially were W.A.S.P. and Manowar although the further I traveled on with this U.S. band the more I came to see everyone from Kiss to GWAR to Merciful Fate to Judas Priest in their nature. Looking to pinpoint FIAKRA's exact sound is quite hard actually. Now, they do obvious worship 80's hard rock and heavy metal (as well as some heavier music as Metallica/Testament), but on their debut-album it seems as if these guys (The Warlord-Lead Vocals/Guitar, Wulfere -The Skull Splitter-Guitar/Backing Vocals, Wheeler-Bass, Blackboots-Drums and Six-Nails-Key/Hammond-Organ) look towards music as much as they do horror soundtracks. Every now and then a song adds in Hammond-Organ or keyboard effects that sound straight out some old, creepy horror film from the 70's or 80's. Every track uses keyboards really, but on some it's much more obvious then others. No matter what you might think this sounds like it's almost a guarantee it is much different then even I can begin to describe it. It's really an album that finds me in a very tough inner struggle. Is is simply an awesome experience or is this really just a band that has taken all of heavy metal's silly cliches to a new level?

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