Released: 2009, Stormspell Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
When some bands vanish away from the face of the earth, some others may be born out from the ashes of them. Such a band is Rapidfire that contains 3 ex-members from the Cali-thrashers Hellhound. However, don´t expect a straight continuum of Hellhound´s type of thrash stuff where they left off on their 2 demos at the end of the 80s. Rapidfire do have elements in their sound that reflects the past, thrashy times of Hellhound, but they certainly are clearly more straight-sounding heavy metal orientated, not dismissing totally all that they created when Hellhound was still on its feet.
SETTLE THE SCORE, which was supposed to be Rapidfire´s debut album, was never released due to some unknown circumstances, and the band eventually disbanded in 1993. This 10-track effort, coming along with 4 bonus tracks taken from the band´s self-titled 1993 demo, is quite an intense and aggressive heavy metal record all in all, with a fair dose of thrash thrown in for a good measurement. Musically Rapidfire move somewhere in the rather safe-sounding middle ground of bands like Vicious Rumors, Hellhound, Metal Church and Armored Saint even if I´m sure every listener can be able to make her/his own personal findings to their stuff. Rapidfire´s somewhat straightforward and aggressive metal surely gives many other associations to people, so it´s left up to every individual listener to listen to them, and pick up whatever band comparisons they can dig out from Rapidfire´s album.
The songs on SETTLE THE SCORE are easily accessible - full of nicely floating riffs, Glen´s (Sievert) good and bright vocal parts (that actually remind me of something, but cannot quite pinpoint right now which vocalist comes to my mind), beautiful lead work and just about everything that makes this album a pleasing listening pleasure all in all. The band really is on fire on this record, and I´m glad the album has been released now – after hiding somewhere for all these 16 long years. The demo material that has also been included for this release as bonus material sounds equally as good as the album material itself, and surprisingly well produced, too. On the other hand, all the demo songs are the non-album material, so it also makes a lot of sense why they were included for this release.
Again, another fine release coming out from the Stormspell Records´s factory. Seems like someone really still understands what real metal used to be all about, serving us long-lost and hidden metal gems from one release to the other. Rapidfire´s SETTLE THE SCORE is definitely – and without the slightest doubt, one of those releases that everyone should own.