|Review: Halloween - Horror Fire|
Label: Motor City Metal Records
Year released: 2006
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: January 4, 2007
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Rated 3.8/5 (76%) (10 Votes)
Some 9 years after their last studio album (the 2004 release being a re-recording of old songs), the Detroit horror metallers are back in force. "Horror Fire" is a bit of a grower - I didn't like it much (save for a couple of songs) the first few times I listened to it, but eventually it clicked. Here the band mixes all the styles of its previous albums and that's a lot to take in. You get the mandatory horror-like atmosphere but not on all songs, some of which are more melodic hard rockers and a couple even venture into more "modern metal" territory, or at least in part ("Exist", "Rage", which both hurt more than they help here...) Add to that a bit of an intromania and an annoying outro. Anyone who's been reading my reviews for a while knows how I hate that kind of stuff save in some cases where they are justifiably used. There's at least one here that is doing a great job of an intro, "The End and the Beginning" introducing "Nobody's Home", a song loosely based on the Amityville Horror. Very cool, and "Nobody's Home" is incidentally my favourite here (it clicked instantly when I first heard the song live last year.) But the album closer is a waste of my time and patience that I skip every time. The opening intro "I Am" could have been left out, but it does have some effectiveness, so it's tolerable. Worth noting, "Go To Hell" reminds me a bit of Alice Cooper, slow, rocking and pounding.
Overall, Halloween have stuck to their roots of melodic heavy metal driven by the singer's very distinctive, overly melodic vocals. Still, I think they packed too much material on this album (it does feel long) and there's a little bit too much diversity on it that makes it sound a bit disjointed at times (and a bitch to review - I've been stalling on this one for several months.) Their best is still the strictly horror-theme material, and that's what I got a kick out of from the album, and what I'm hankering for whenever I put on the album. A bit too long and overdone, but still quite listenable - but do give it some time to grow on you if it doesn't catch you at first. Glad to see the guys still have what it takes after all these years.
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