Released: 2008, Pure Steel Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Arctic Flame, is a power/heavy metal band from Bayonne, New Jersey, that was formed in 2001 - and the band´s debut full-length album PRIMAL AGGRESSOR saw the light of a power/heavy metal flame two years ago, in 2006. Since then the band has enjoyed nudity and heavy metal (feel an urgent need to read their biography from their official homepage now, ha-ha!) and have been working with the songs for their 2nd, follow-up album DECLARATION for the last two years.
Having now been listening to the album with an open mind (and ears, to be even more precise), I cannot say I have got my fingers around it that well at all, I´m afraid - metaphorically speaking, of course! In fact, I don´t know if this is good or bad stuff, but the fact is that I´m still feeling like it doesn´t do enough for me so that I would notice myself pounding my fingers on my table in excitement while listening to their latest opus. It´s like saying to someone: "I love you...", without having any weight placed in those three words, you know. Arctic Flame just doesn´t raise the bar of interest on that needed level where it could start evolving toward something better - something more unique, just trying to ensure that its listeners are on the kind of a journey that could convince them to come back to it more than just once or twice. Dave Lowe - Arctic Flame´s vocalist, however, has got a pretty impressive voice with a good vocal range, and in my opinion sounds best in a song called "Lord of the Wasteland", in which he is even capable of reaching those relatively high-pitched screams ála Mr. Halford. Also, admittedly a song called "Disciples of the Flame", a bit of an old Maiden-tinged song, sounds like the kind of song that this album would definitely need more in order to keep its head up above the surface.
Facing the cold facts anyway, DECLARATION lacks enough sticking hooks, unreserved catchiness and simply all those tiny little elements that would tempt me to re-visit it some other time again. Or maybe it´s just me who should re-consider giving it one more try some other time, too?