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HELL FIRE

Hell Fire

Mania

    The free-wheelin’ creativity and infectious vitality of the 80s Bay Area thrash scene is a moment forever locked in time, but its spirit lives on in the galloping guitar picks, soaring harmonies and blistering rhythms of San Francisco quartet Hell Fire. The band’s perfect hybrid of NWOBHM theatrics and American thrash attitude delivers a rousing and genuine expansion on sounds long lost to pointless battles over who can be the most “extreme.”

    Mania, Hell Fire’s third album and proper debut on RidingEasy Records (the label also reissued the band’s sophomore album, Free Again for the first time on vinyl in January 2019) warmly condenses elements of influences like Angel Witch, Iron Maiden, Rainbow, Exodus, Metallica, Riot, Virtue and Diamond Head into 10 tracks of headbanging MUYA anthems.
    “Thematically, everything on the album comes from personal experiences,” says vocalist/guitarist Jake Nunn. “From the highs of partying together out here in Oakland, or the nostalgia of being a kid learning Zeppelin on a beat up guitar, to the extreme lows of isolation, personal trauma, and mental illness. Sonically we want our records to sound like you're standing in front of the stage at a show. The power of Marshall stacks in front of your face, drums at your ear level, thunder of the bass and feeling the presence of the room.”

    Hell Fire achieves just that — and then some — on Mania. The album was recorded in Grass Valley, California at engineer Tim Green’s Louder Studios. Having also recorded their previous album with Green, the sessions proved highly productive for the band since they were already familiar with the setting and able to expand upon ideas they hadn’t been able to explore previously.
    “We’re more excited about Mania then anything we’ve ever done,” Nunn says. “We were able to spend a bit more time arranging the songs and writing from a more personal perspective lyrically. We came out of this recording feeling much more accomplished with our performances and couldn't be more happy for this to be our first release with RidingEasy Records.”
    Hell Fire began when bass player Herman Bandala moved to San Francisco from Tijuana, Mexico with the hopes of forming a heavy metal band. Herman posted an ad to Craigslist which caught the attention of guitarist Tony Campos. They bonded over a mutual love of 80s thrash and NWOBHM, which was a hard thing to find in the Bay Area scene at the time. The lineup slowly morphed over time, finally solidifying with vocalist Jake Nunn also taking up second guitar duties and drummer Mike Smith joining prior to 2017’s Free Again.

    TRACK LISTING

    01. Warpath
    02. Mania
    03. On The Loose
    04. Born To Burn
    05. Transcending Evil 06. Lashing Out
    07. Isolator
    08. The Dreamer
    09. Knights Of The Holy
    10. Masochist

    Hell Fire

    Free Again

      Formed in recent years in San Francisco, though it may seem more likely that they hatched fresh out of a time travel portal from the mid-80s Bay Area thrash scene, Hell Fire have the classic look and sound of modern metal’s halcyon days. Hell Fire’s sonic assault warmly condenses elements of influences like Angel Witch, Iron Maiden, Rainbow, Exodus, Metallica, Riot, Virtue and Diamond Head into 8 tracks of headbanging MUYA anthems.

      The free-wheelin’ creativity and infectious vitality of Bay Area thrash is a moment forever locked in time, but its spirit lives on in Hell Fire’s galloping guitar picks, soaring harmonies and blistering rhythms. The band’s perfect hybrid of NWOBHM theatrics and American thrash attitude delivers a rousing and genuine expansion on sounds long lost to pointless battles over who can be the most “extreme.”

      Hell Fire began when bass player Herman Bandala moved to San Francisco from Tijuana, Mexico with the hopes of forming a heavy metal band. Herman posted an ad to Craigslist which caught the attention of guitarist Tony Campos. They bonded over a mutual love of 80s thrash and NWOBHM, which was a hard thing to find in the Bay Area scene at the time. Just before Hell Fire entered the studio to record their debut album Metal Masses, Jake Nunn joined on vocals. The lineup continued to develop over time, finally solidifying with Nunn also taking up second guitar duties and drummer Mike Smith joining prior to recording Free Again.

      Hell Fire’s 2017 sophomore album, Free Again is being released for the first time on vinyl and remastered for CD and download in January 2019. it was recorded over 5 days in Grass Valley, California at engineer Tim Green’s Louder Studios (The Fucking Champs, Melvins.) Where Metal Masses showcased aesthetic nods to Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All album (as well as a cover photo brilliantly depicting a blurry hand speedily playing a Flying-V guitar), Free Again finds the band coming into their own with emphasis upon grooves, a beefier sound and tighter songs that expertly shift into new parts at the drop of a hat.

      Opener “Free Again” kicks things right off with a galloping riff forming out of a haze of feedback as the tape machine comes up to speed. The anthemic chorus showcases Nunn’s powerful voice as twin guitar harmonies lead into a thundering double-time coda reminiscent of Iron Maiden’s “Aces High.” Elsewhere, a marching snare drum beat and totemic blasts set up dueling guitar leads of “City Ablaze” while dizzying, chugging 16th-note guitars drive the blistering “Live Forever” into oblivion. “Wheels of Fate” and “The Dealer” echo the groove based tunes and harmonies of Rainbow and Gary Moore era Thin Lizzy. Album closer “End of Days” is a chorus effect drenched ballad that builds into a crushing lament over the constant beckoning of depression and the struggle for freedom and clarity. It’s a touching and powerful closing to an album that traverses many moods and packs in more great parts into a single song than most thrash bands do on an entire album. 

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Free Again
      2. City Ablaze
      3. Live Forever
      4. Wheels Of Fate
      5. Beyond Nightmares
      6. The Dealer
      7. Destroyers
      8. End Of Days


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