|Review: Aska - Fire Eater|
Label: Pure Steel Records
Year released: 2013
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: January 10, 2014
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Rated 3.17/5 (63.33%) (6 Votes)
Dallas, Texas' Aska is an American band that embraces the European style of Heavy/Power Metal and is probably far more popular on the right side of the pond than they are in their home country. Fire Eater is the band's sixth full-length and it is a somewhat uneven affair. When Aska put on their Iron Maiden hats, like on "Son of a God" or "Eye of the Serpent," they can stand toe to toe with just about anyone. Guitarists George Call, who also handles lead vocals, and Daryl Norton work the twin guitar attack like a well-oiled machine and evoke the heyday of Iron Maiden with their dueling riffs. The solos are somewhat underwhelming, but not so much that they detract from the songs. Call's vocals are strong and he can get up into the lower stratosphere with little effort. At other times, Aska channel the 1987 version of Whitesnake and adopt a little more bluesy and, for lack of a better description, commercial sound. Songs like "Harlot of Eden" and "Year of Jubilee" are OK, but have that MTV feel in their simple arrangements and easy-to-digest melodies. If it had been released in the 80s, with an accompanying video full of attractive women, the ballad "Angela" would have been in heavy rotation. There's also a decent cover of Judas Priest's "The Ripper" which Aska change up just enough to make it their own without ruining what has become a classic song.
Fire Eater has some really strong material, and that makes it well worth a listen, but the fluff and filler do hold it back a bit.
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