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Fireball Ministry
The Second Great Awakening
January 2004
Released: 2003, Nuclear Blast Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Bit of a weird signing here for the Nuclear Blast crew, as the Fireball Ministry certainly doesn’t seem to gel with their usual power metal/melodic death roster. However, major kudos to the Blasters for snapping this band up, ‘cause they are surely one of the best underground American rock/metal bands in existence! Led by the Rev. James A Rota III, the Minstry bash away at 10 tracks (plus intro) of pure rock fury (yes, even Clutch would be proud).

Formed in L.A. (with some deep N.Y.C. roots) by Rota and Emily Burton, the band quickly got snapped up by Bong Load Records who put out their OU EST LA ROCK disc. In 2001 my favorite Small Stone Records put out FMEP and the band gained an even stronger following. FMEP was a great disc, but it only featured three original songs written by the band. Now, a scant two years later, these guys and gals are back with what is surely their strongest effort to date. Featuring the three originals off of FMEP, THE SECOND GREAT AWAKENING careens and pounds like the great rockers of old, bashing out songs that Sabbath and CCR would have been proud to call their own. There’s a swampy & sludgy undertone to these riffs that, despite the powerful forward mass provided by John Oreshnick, seeps into your brain and entrances you.

Spearheaded by the mighty “King”, TSGA rip ‘n rolls along, digging hooks deep in your noggin’. Nigh every song on here is a winner, but “Flatline” and “He Who Kills” are especially deadly, Rota’s powerful, intelligible Ozz-ified vocals providing the silver lining to the smoky haze laid down by the band.

Can’t think of much to bitch about here, ‘cept maybe that almost all of the songs reside comfortably in that easy mid-paced rock zone, without taking too many risks. Half point off for that. Still, this is an awesome, fantabulous album that all rock dawgs would do well to add to their filthy collections.
Track Listing

1)The Second Great Awakening 2)King
3)The Sinner
4)Master of None
5)Daughter of the Damned
6)Flatline
7)In the Mourning
8)He Who Kills
9)Rollin’ On
10)Choker
11)Maidens of Venus

Lineup

Rev. James A. Rota III: Vocals, Guitar
Emily J. Burton: Guitar
Janis Tanaka: Bass
John Oreshnick: Drums


Next review: » Fireball Ministry - Their Rock Is Not Our Rock
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