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HELL FIRE - Free Again LP

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HELL FIRE - Free Again LP

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Highly recommended. 

Formed in recent years in San Francisco (though it may seem more likely that they hatched fresh out of a time travel portal from the mid-’80s Bay Area thrash scene), Hell Fire have the classic look and sound of modern metal’s halcyon days. Their sonic assault warmly condenses elements of Angel Witch, Iron Maiden, Rainbow, Exodus, Metallica, Riot, Virtue and Diamond Head into eight tracks of headbanging MUYA anthems. The free-wheelin’ creativity and infectious vitality of Bay Area thrash is a moment forever locked in time, but its spirit lives on in this band’s galloping guitar picks, soaring harmonies and blistering rhythms. The band’s perfect hybrid of NWOBHM theatrics and American thrash attitude delivers a rousing and genuine expansion on sounds long lost to pointless battles over who can be the most “extreme.” Hell Fire began when bass player Herman Bandala moved to San Francisco from Tijuana, Mexico, with the hopes of forming a heavy metal band. Herman posted an ad to Craigslist which caught the attention of guitarist Tony Campos. They bonded over a mutual love of ’80s thrash and NWOBHM. Just before they entered the studio to record their debut album Metal Masses, Jake Nunn joined on vocals. The lineup continued to develop over time, finally solidifying with Nunn also taking up second guitar duties and drummer Mike Smith joining prior to recording Free Again. This sophomore album is being released for the first time on vinyl and remastered for CD and download. It was recorded over five days in Grass Valley, California, at engineer Tim Green’s Louder Studios (The Fucking Champs, Melvins.) Where Metal Masses showcased aesthetic nods to Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All album (as well as a cover photo brilliantly depicting a blurry hand speedily playing a Flying-V guitar), Free Again finds the band coming into their own with emphasis upon grooves, a beefier sound and tighter songs that expertly shift into new parts at the drop of a hat.

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