|Review: Arched Fire - Remote Control|
Label: WormHoleDeath Records
Year released: 2021
Review online: May 25, 2021
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Rated 4/5 (80%) (6 Votes)
It's not very well remembered today, but there was a time from about 1986 to 1990 where Finland had a very active Thrash scene with dozens of promising young acts that unfortunately never got too far due to the oncoming Death Metal scene sweeping them away. Arched Fire are among those bands, forming some time in 1989 and pushing out a fairly novel brand of Thrash-tinged Traditional Metal, but they never got too far and broke up before they could record any material. As is customary these days, they decided to revive the project after over 30 years and finally record their full-length debut and, after several spins, I can say that it was the best decision they could have made.
Remote Control consists of their older material that's been heavily rearranged, making for a sound that's roughly 80% Traditional Metal in the vein of Judas Priest, Mercyful Fate, and Accept, and 20% Thrash for good measure. Priest in particular are the strongest point of comparison, with songwriting that's not too far off from their '70s and '80s output and Kristian Herman's screeching singing voice sounding a lot like Halford did on Painkiller. There's nothing challenging or innovative here, it's just some good old-fashioned Heavy Metal that's got singalong crowd pleasers like "Escape" and "...and Ride Away" mixed with meaner, Metallica-esque Thrash like "Wormhole" and "Futile". Album closer "From Dust to Dust" is a bit of an outlier, as it's more in the vein of Manowar, and while it doesn't have quite the same power or testosterone-laden energy, it gets close enough to impress.
Many bands try to come back after failing to hit the mark back in the day, but Arched Fire are one of the bands who not only earned their comeback, but also show a ton of promise for future releases. Here's hoping it's not another 30 years before we get their follow-up.
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Interview with guitarist Ari Väntänen, vocalist Kristian Herkman, drummer Assu Purojärvi and bassist Mika Rytilahti on June 4, 2021 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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