It almost seems as if Italy has survived the bombast wave and has regained its footing, because with RAPID FIRE we get another band out of the traditional Heavy Metal genre and leaves a pretty good impression! Founded in 1998 RAPID FIRE have just released their debut “Scream!” via Steelheart Records and thankfully do not follow in the footsteps of RHAPSODY, VISION DIVINE, DERDIAN etc., but are firmly rooted to the ground.
The formula that this quartet is creating its Metal after definitely is not new, but more than 20 years old, originally concocted by bands such as IRON PRIEST and JUDAS MAIDEN, but if the whole thing sounds good, I can live with that and the Italians do a good job, because even though it is their debut, the guys show pretty mature song writing. Singer Antonio Pecere has a nicely powerful, not too high voice and thankfully he also does not have a strong accent, as so many southerners, while the guitar duo Fiorani/Poliani delivers good, sharp riffing with good melodies.
The songs nicely vary in-between each other, so they do not fall into the usual trap of the Power/Speed bands, this being one-dimensionality, even though they mostly cannot compete with the big guns yet. The shining lights are the driving “Mirage“, the double-bass and riff thunderstorm titled “Fast Like The Fire“ and the excellent LOUDNESS cover version “Crazy Doctor“ (in the Japanese original version!) and “Perfect World“, the rest is nice to listen to, but nothing more (yet).
If you feel traditional again, then RAPID FIRE are a good snack, but not enough yet for a full meal. (Online February 17, 2006)