Released: 2008, Pitch Black Records
First release here from newcomers Pitch Black Records and they have chosen fellow Cyprus-based metallers Diphtheria for the honour. It’s a solid choice too, as Diphtheria has been around since 1993, but has yet to release an album (!). They do have a couple of well-regarded demos to their credit, and they were wise enough to include most of those tracks on this album as well.
So what do we have here on TO WAIT FOR FIRE? It’s pretty much what you would expect from a traditional-metal album from an isolated area (in metal terms). It’s straight ahead, no nonsense metal played like its 1986, with a certain detached feeling that only comes from bands who are interpreting metal from afar (i.e. you wouldn’t hear this sound from a band in London or Stockholm). As I said, musically this is traditional metal, with the added bonus of a pretty cool guitar tone, over which vocalist Nicholas Leptos sings clearly and confidently.
Still, you can kind of hear why this band has gone unsigned until now. There is a certain indie factor to the music that just makes it sound second rate. They don’t technically do anything wrong, but there is no fire or excitement to the music either. Each song just rolls on by and you think “yep, that’s a heavy metal song all right”, and then immediately forget it. For a band that has been around as long as Diphtheria, it’s disappointing to say the least. In their defence, the production does the band no favours, sounding flat and oddly crunch-less.
This is an inauspicious debut for both Pitch Black Records, and Diphtheria. TO WAIT FOR FIRE is a building block, but unfortunately not really worth checking out based on its own merits.