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Shake The Earth
Released: 2012, Indie
I've always admired bands like Arctic Flame. They are buried so far in the underground they are looking up at the worms! This New Jersey band has been slogging it out in the trenches for well over ten years on small labels, very little press, no big tours or support slots and presumably limited CD sales, yet they have put out four albums. The only reason I can imagine they continue on is for the best reason of all... for the love of pure Metal! I'm fairly confident they are not in it for the money or fame. It's a shame these guys do not have a higher profile because they are actually very good.
Ever since I bought the debut Arctic Flame album,PRIMEVAL AGGRESSOR back in 2002, I've always associated them with the 90's band Balistik Kick. That's primarily because when that New Jersey band folded, drummer Mike Paradine founded Arctic Flame and brought his mascot (the cool flaming skull dude) over to his new band so the album covers of both band have the same look and feel. This is the only example I can think of where two bands have the very same mascot, except for maybe Children Of Bodom and Grim Reaper but even those rendering of the Reaper vary dramatically.
Original bassist Jeff Scott rejoined Paradine, the only founding member left, on guitar and the band has increased to a quintet and dropped a couple of members and added a couple since last years album. Moore is still on vocals and his raspy voice is still reminiscent of Bobby Blitz. Moore does some wicked screams on this record and shows his softer tones on the very long closing track, the melancholy and atmospheric 'Seasons In The Cemetery (Gardens Of Stone)'
Arctic Flame fourth album SHAKE THE EARTH is consistent with their other output, namely good, solid traditional Metal that at times veers into Power Metal and a smattering of thrash, not unlike 90's Overkill. The band is still on Pure Steel and could benefit from a slightly fuller production. The performances are fine with some really nice extending soloing heard on the track 'Two Sides Of The Bullet'. The pace is mid-paced for the most part with the occasional burst of speed and energy.
Arctic Flame have a lot of offer fans of classic Metal in terms of writing and performing great songs. I feel that if more fans heard SHAKE THE EARTH it could take them to the next level, although the chances of making it big this far into their career, (and while playing an older, less trendy style) are pretty slim. Shame. They have what it takes. Check them out.
1. Man Made Man
2. Two Sides Of The Bullet
3. Last Chance
4. Call In The Priest
5. Ride Of The Headless Horseman
6. Hangman's Prayer
7. Slaves to the Alchemist
8. Run to Beat the Devil
10. Seasons in the Cemetery (Garden of Stone)
Michael Clayton Moore Vocals
Alex Schuster Guitar
Jason Perez Guitar
Jeff Scott Bass
Mike Paradine Drum
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