Review Summary: "Fire From The Tomb" is the re-release of War Of Ages self-titled debut. Overall, it's a solid metalcore/hardcore debut.
Fire From The Tomb is a re-release of War Of Ages' self-titled debut, which was released in 2005 on Strike First Records, on Facedown Records. The album features the same songs, except for the track "The Awakening".
After the release of Pride Of The Wicked, the band went back to the studio to record the self-titled debut with a slightly changed and definitely more experienced lineup. There're no apparent differences between this and the self-titled, except for the quality. The production on this album is a lot better than on the self-titled. Despite this, the album can feel quite under-produced (that's something you don't see often) at times.
The instruments are almost as solid as can be. There's nothing necessarily original, but these guys can definitely play. Like in most bands, bass and drums do their part while the guitar leads. This album is full of complex riffs, solos, and even acoustics, like at the beginning of "Only The Strong Survive", for instance. The guitars are played extraordinarily well
and there's definitely talent, but there needs to be more originality to really impress anyone in the metal fanbase, since flashy guitar playing has always been a main characteristic in metal. The fast hammer-ons and pull-offs in songs like "Battle On" are nice, but are so common in metalcore that it can be a bit bland. But still, the riffs are solid and well-executed, despite their blatant lack of originality or creativeness.
The lyrics are openly Christian and War Of Ages tries to get the point across as much as they that we humans have screwed up. The main lyrical theme is asking forgiveness for what we have all done. The chorus of "The Awakening" is the chorus of a man screaming for help, any help:
"God, I'm on my knees suffering. Is this all all I am. Please heal my pain, lift me up and hold me close to your heart. How could I fail you once again. Your love is what sustains me."
That's great if you believe in that kind of thing (which I for one do), but it might turn off people who want no part in religion. But, War Of Ages is getting the message they want in their songs and it's their beliefs.
The vocals on Fire From The Tomb are probably somewhere between average and below-average. Vocalist Leroy Hamp puts as much emotion into the vocals as is humanly possible with screaming, but just emotion doesn't help that much. He doesn't have much of a range at all and stays in the key almost the whole album. Despite his obvious flaws, Leroy passes for the average mark & is bearable to listen to, and the emotion he puts in really helps the overall feel of not only Fire From The Tomb, but War Of Ages overall sound.
Overall Fire From The Tomb/War Of Ages is a solid metalcore/hardcore debut. They showcase their talent and their ability to put emotion in their music. There are still obvious flaws, though, and still have aways to go.
Stand Your Ground
Recommended If You Like
August Burns Red
As I Lay Dying
All That Remains
Becoming The Archetype
Between the Buried And Me