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There are 13 songs on Baptized By Fire and each and every one gets the blood and fist pumping. There are no fillers here my friends, no way.
This album is chock full of heavy, heavy music but it also crams in melody, stories, and solos to die for.
Baptized By Fire is the follow-up to Aeraco’s debut offering All or Nothing, released in 2015. (The keen-eyed amongst you will have noted that I called Baptized By Fire their debut on the upcoming releases section of the website, sorry!)
Whilst All or Nothing is a decent enough album, it was merely a gentle warm up in preparation for this much more muscular effort.
Aeraco are four of the hardest of hard rockers you’ll find anywhere, so hard they don’t even need second names. We have Ace on lead vocals and guitar, Spidey on guitar, Misfit bashing the drums and Beast thrashing the bass.
Ace, whilst having a touch of added sandpaper to his vocals, has total and absolute power, which other gravelly-voiced singers often don’t.
And Spidey, man can he play! He can thrash with the best of them and also caress you with the sweetest of notes.
The driving force behind these two guys is, of course, the rhythm provided by Misfit and Beast. I haven’t heard or felt power like this for a long time and boy it felt great.
The general feel to this album is pure heavy rock, but with subtle changes throughout the album the guys conjure up feelings from old school metal to modern pop-punk without losing their identity.
From the opening track, “Back With Vengeance” Aeraco leave you in no doubt as to their modus operandi; hard, fast rock, of the highest standard.
The intriguingly titled “Cum to Rock” follows, which grooves and screams at full power. I’m not sure if it’s an invitation or an instruction, but whichever it is I don’t care, it’s a pure rockin’ gem.
The title track gives the same, if not more, gut-punching rock with a scorching solo which tore right through me. The pace slows just a touch but the power is unrelenting on “Stab In Dim Light” with gang vocals on the chorus having a big positive effect.
“Tequila and Lime” follows the path that, by law, all songs with ‘tequila’ in the title must follow. A touch of sleaze, a party feel (although the song is about trying to forget a girl) and a singalong chorus. It also has the great line, “tequila for pain, the lime is for the taste”. We all agree with that, right?
The single ballad now makes an appearance with “All I Know”. This song demonstrates that Aeraco can turn their hand to anything, including an understated solo which fits beautifully.
“In Hell We Trust” has a power-metal feel to it, especially early on, and Maiden-esque riffing. Superb song.
I keep waiting for the momentum to be lost a touch but it just never happens, every song finds its target, a bullseye every time.
“In Vain” starts off with a modern pop-punk riff then grows into a straight up rocker with a ripping solo. Hot on its heels comes “Bad” which continues the hot streak, just a great rock song.
“Fighting The Fame” tells the tale of where Aeraco feel they are in the industry of their choice. Interesting stuff.
I’m running out of superlatives now as the album just keeps on giving top quality music and “Lone Wolf” is no different. A rollicking rocker with yet another top solo.
It was with fingers crossed that I anticipated the arrival of “The Outlaw”. I desperately didn’t want to end on a low and thank God I didn’t. “The Outlaw” is arguably the best song which is high praise indeed. The riffs aren’t so much galloping as haring along with their arses on fire. Great story, great riffs, great vocals, great solo. Just great! What a finish.
Whichever way you look at it – top to bottom, inside out, or dissected into a thousand parts – this album is a 100% stone cold killer.
If this album isn’t in my top 5 of 2017 come the year end, then I will, as my Dad says, eat hay with a horse.
Baptized By Fire is out on Dark Star Records. Just buy it.