Fueled by Fire - Trapped in Perdition
Noise Art Records
Thrash Metal
11 songs (44' 31")
Release year: 2013
Noise Art Records
Reviewed by Andy

Fueled by Fire interested me when I picked up the debut, Spread the Fire, in 2006, although as yet another thrash revival band with tracks like Thrash Is Back, and with less quirky humor than contemporaries Gama Bomb, it was hard to say if they'd be able to mature their sound or remain a novelty act. Their newest, Trapped in Perdition, is a clear answer to that question; the lyrics are better, and their songs have gotten more complex without losing a whole lot of the 80s-style thrash sound they started with.

Catastrophe, the first track, uses some pretty stock thrash riffs, but there is a harsher, grittier element to vocalist Rick Rangel's voice, almost proto-death-metal, and indeed, the minor key of that one and its successor, Suffering Entities is very much like something Death might have tried out as they were developing their signature sound. The band appears to have acquired a newfound restraint that helps greatly in providing variety for their songs, too; while earlier efforts blasted away at top speed, a number of traffics slow the frantic drumming and riffs down quite a bit on a few songs, though they haven't abandoned speed in any album-changing way -- Profane Path and Defaced Mortality are both crushing and fast throughout much of the song. Chris Monroy's lead guitar solos are not brilliantly original, but they have a dim, cold sound to them that plays well with the updated sound on Trapped in Perdition.

Where Fueled by Fire stumbles is where most thrash metal revival stumbles, in that it's hard to make an album that keeps the sound of a bygone era without many of one's songs sounding like clones of past greats. They do their best though, changing up their riffs a bit, adding plenty of lead guitar at different points, and adding intros to sometimes-generic songs that give them a little more flavor. While that doesn't always work, no one can accuse them of doing thrash metal songs in a halfhearted manner -- songs like Symbolic Slaying, which is by-the-numbers thrash, is still played excellently in the old classic style, starting with both guitars trading off on the opening riff. The bonus track, Depiction of Demise, is also excellent, moving back and forth from the band's usual thrash slamming to a more deliberate hammering beat. Rangel gets a few higher screams to accentuate his normal shrieks, too.

Despite the well-trodden ground Trapped in Perdition traverses, this is done quite well and shows some definite evolution on Fueled by Fire's part from their earlier days. Any fan of the genre is likely to enjoy this one, which shows the band growing up a bit without compromising on the furious attack they started with.

Killing Songs :
Suffering Entities, Profane Path, Depiction of Demise
Andy quoted 77 / 100
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