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Valley of Unrest
Released: 2002, Independent
Fireign are a young band (members range from about 18 to their early 20’s) that hails from my home city of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. VALLEY OF UNREST is the band’s first full-length album following a 4-song demo from 2001. Since their demo, they have come quite a long way with better songs and on this recording the production is very high quality. It’s therefore a pleasure to present to you a band from my own scene that stands up against all the other indie CD’s I get to hear on a regular basis. I’m not just plugging this because I know the band or because I’ve seen them live many times, they really do stand up against what’s out there in up and coming acts. Other connections to the local scene are present. For example, Dan Moore of sHEAVY fame provided the artwork and the album was recorded/mixed/mastered by Rick Hollett who some locals might remember from the band AfterForever but who’s now in the local alternative rock band Timber. As for Fireign, the line-up consists of: Harry Clarke (bass and vocals), Trevor Leonard (lead guitar), Brian King (rhythm guitar), and Dale Parsons (drums).
So you’re probably wondering what style of metal Fireign plays?!? They lean very heavily on classic thrash metal a la old Kreator. There are slight power metal overtones such as hints of old Helloween and for good measure a generous serving of good ole Iron Maiden. The main thrash influence is on the vocals. Vocalist Harry Clarke sounds a bit like Mille Petrozza of Kreator with a bit of Sodom thrown in. At times the vocals border on black metal without going into the screeching that some bands take on. The more melodic, or slight power metal sounds come into play on the riffs. For example the main riff for perhaps the album’s catchiest track, “Killer In The Night”, is total power/speed metal. Some Maiden-isms come to the forefront on “The Legend Of Crusher” especially on the double harmony part near the end. On “Death From The Forest” we are treated to a lead melody line that reminded me a little of Annihilator’s “Alice In Hell”, once the harmony section begins though it’s back to the Maiden sound. This song has vocals, but it’s almost an instrumental with all the guitar sections, melodies, etc. Metallica also has been an influence in the past for the band. This rears its head on the track “Deadtime.” Despite being a great song, the intro lyrics about “…fucking Christians” was a little cheesy for my taste. The music on this one is much more thrashy and none of the Maiden or more melodic styles show up. The album’s title track, “Valley of Unrest” is a long track that drags in a couple places but the riffs are a bit more technical than some of the others making for an interesting listen overall. The CD closed with the clean guitar instrumental track “What Lies Within Us.” Guitarist Trevor Leonard is already well on his way to becoming quite an accomplished player and this track shows his ability to play something out of the mold of the rest of the album. If he stays on track and stays dedicated to furthering his abilities with this style of metal I can only imagine how good he’ll be in say 5 or 10 years!
If you are a fan of old school thrash metal, and you also love stuff like Maiden, Slayer, and old Helloween, then this is something I advise you to check out. Every metalhead loves to hear a new band, and I’m sure the majority of our readers have yet to hear this band. Hopefully you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the quality of the band, their songs, and the production quality of the CD.
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