[Review] Hand of Fire – Nuclear Sunrise
Hand of Fire is a thrash metal band hailing from the United States of America, from the state of California. This band began quite recently in 2015, but seems to be host to a lot of ambition and promise. Their debut album Nuclear Sunrise has been quite built up, with information like the famous Juan Urteaga working as the producer on the album and with frontman Jim Settle also being the frontman of notable Vengeance. Let’s see if Nuclear Sunrise can match all the hype.
When it comes to thrash metal, I can in no way claim to be a big fan of the genre. Whether it is Opprobrium or Tourniquet I have not been naturally pulled into the genre, the main reason has usually been the vocals. Thrash metal vocals are often shouted, with what feels like very little technique or skill – other than speed. One instant relief here is Jim Settle does not sound like this, he actually sounds like he uses some false-chord extreme metal technique into a thrash metal style. The song structures are what feels like a mixture of old traditional thrash and some touches of modern twenty first century influence. The main instrument that stands out is the guitar in this debut; the tone is up there with top notch bands like Bloodshot Dawn. Most of Tiago Souza’s work is aimed at contributing to the rhythm of the band; since he is the only guitarist this is logical. However, he still manages to pull off a reasonable amount of solos and a couple of sick licks. Bill Davies puts down some catchy beats on the drums, true to thrash the drum work is not overly complicated and mainly works at the mid-pace – although there definitely are moments of speed. Tom Eaton’s bass keeps to the flow of things with Bill Davies.
As far as production goes Juan Urteaga has done an excellent job, as I said in part before, the guitar and bass tone is epic. The drums sound huge and commanding. Jim Settle’s voice comes across enormously powerful. All I can think is Hand of Fire must be quite proud that this is how their debut came out sounding. Tiago Souza could possibly benefit from having another guitarist in the band, so he can let loose with more solos (just one man’s opinion). From a young metalhead, this is certainly one of the better thrash metal albums I have heard.
I would give this debut album 80 out of 100.