ARCTIC FLAME - GUARDIAN AT THE GATE

PURE STEEL RECORDS 

 

Metal To Infinity

Arctic Flame isn’t a new band to me. I’ve been following them since their debut EP. In 2006 they released their debut album “Primeval Aggressor”, followed by “Declaration” in 2008. As with many US Metal bands the chance to break through is hardly existing. Not that Arctic Flame released exceptional albums, masterpieces as we call them, but I know they’re not even noticed by the bigger fanzines. On the other hand I don’t know if these guys really care about it, listening to this newbie I still hear enthusiasm and that’s what counts!

Meanwhile Arctic Flame has played on festivals in Holland and Bavaria. Since 2010 there are some line-up changes and so the band welcomed a new singer, Michael Clayton Moore. Reading his biography I notice he has performed before as a Rock singer and as a tenor with the Palm Beach Opera. Awesome! The man is by the way also classical trained, works on TV and movie soundtracks or is in other words an artist ‘pur sang’. I suppose only a few bands can say they have someone with this kind of capabilities in the ranks.

So yes, I was curious about this one and I knew what to expect; good played traditional Heavy metal! And so yes, after the first listen I do hear a good played traditional Heavy Metal disc! Maybe a bit more than before Arctic Flame adds progressive elements to their music although this band can’t be considered as a progressive Metal band. Nevertheless the arrangements can be described as rather technical and for example the used drums are really worth checking this band out. There are a lot of breaks and the way the percussion supports them is amazing. Great riffs and dito solos, awesome bass guitars and all with the kind of Power we are longing for in True Metal. But, a negative point is that I miss atmosphere, or should I say emotions, in this album… On the last tack, “The Eternal” the mood chances and it’s no coincidence this is the strongest song to me just because I can find emotions back into it!

Arctic Flame didn’t really take a step forward and they still don’t take me by the throat. Michael Clayton Moore has a very good voice but I miss aggression and passion in his vocal lines. A high scream, an evil undertone, an emotional refrain…. On “The Creeper” Michael Clayton Moore is doing what I am just talking about and it gives the-is specific track a whole other dimension. He whispers, he screams, he let us hear his feelings and that’s what I am longing for! Look, this man is a very good singer but allow me to explain any further. Do you know Jacob’s Dream? Remember the band with David Taylor on vocals? Noticed the big difference with Chaz Bond? Well, that’s what I am talking about! Chaz Bond and Michael Clayton Moore have a similar vocal sound by the way and although both are excellent singers I miss the passion in their vocals! David Taylor on the other hand made Jacob’s Dream sound unique and lifted the band up to an exceptional level!

But I don’t want to complain nor do I want to be negative about this album! Fans of Jacob’s Dream, Warlord etc. will be pleased by it. I advice you to take multiple listens because this record needs time! It’s a good disc and but not the logical next step in the history of the band. To get noticed in the Metal scène nowadays more needs to be done! They have the musicians, I believe they have the singer! Check it out at http://www.arcticflamemetal.com/ or http://www.myspace.com/atricfire.

My Points: 79 / 100 (Review by Officer Nice)