Despite being around for over a decade in some form or another, Fire Strike is only just releasing their first EP, “Lion and Tiger”. The Brazilian band plays fairly safe traditional heavy metal, but with a female vocalist. One strange fact I’ve picked up from Brazilian heavy metal bands is that they all love Canada’s Skull Fist. Fire Strike is really no different, as they have a somewhat similar sound. There are numerous virtuosic guitar solos throughout the EP, along with simple, old-school riffs. The vocalist is certainly quite talented; however, I think she tends to wail a bit too much. Sometimes it sounds like she goes out of her range, uses too much vibrato, or tries to really vary the notes she is singing, when a more simple approach would be more effective. In the end, it becomes difficult to understand what she is saying without really focusing on the lyrics. This is not inherently a flaw of the EP, but a more laid-back approach might benefit the band.
As with many bands in the style, Fire Strike is primarily driven by the quality of their shredders and singer. The rhythm section doesn’t play a prominent role. There are some parts where the bass shines on its own (there is a bass break in “Night Fever Nova”), and it is certainly not buried in the mix. Likewise, the drums are not overly dominant on this release. The five songs themselves are pretty consistent. Both the title track and “Night Fever Nova” have instantly memorable moments. The other three songs are perhaps a bit weaker, but nonetheless still worth hearing. "Master of the Seas", for example, has stunning dueling Iron Maiden-esque guitar leads. What I enjoy most about this release is its sheer enthusiasm. All of the songs have plenty of energy, and Fire Strike sounds like a band that wants to play traditional heavy metal. Sure, it’s derivative, but quality is always more important than originality. Ultimately, “Lion and Tiger” is a very endearing release. It has all of the trademarks of classic heavy metal, and is sure to be a fun listen.
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"Night Fever Nova"
"Lion and Tiger"
3.75/5 or 75%.
Written by Scott