"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Blackfire Revelation - "Blackfire Revelation" (CD)

Blackfire Revelation - "Blackfire Revelation" CD cover image

"Blackfire Revelation" track listing:

1. Flood
2. Act Like A Believer Redux
3. Diamond in the Rough
4. Left Hand Black
5. No Paradise
6. Skull Mask
7. Gods and Gamblers
8. Each Day I Rise

Reviewed by on June 20, 2011

"In the vein of other metal groups that are influenced by southern music like Soilent Green, Midnight Ghost Train, and even Down, Blackfire Revalation is dripping with soul amidst the fuzzy guitar riffs and wails."

Being a lover of much traditional music, I was excited to hear about a bluesy metal band. In the vein of other metal groups that are influenced by southern music like Soilent Green, Midnight Ghost Train, and even Down, Blackfire Revalation is dripping with soul amidst the fuzzy guitar riffs and wails. This nearly one-man band is down to the vocalist/guitarist J.R. Fields and some hired guns.

The album starts out great with a classic metal lurching drum and guitar beat and then opens up into a fury of pain when vocalist and guitarist J.R. Fields roughly sings his heart out in “Flood.” He has a great wailing, powerful, and soulful voice throughout, yet I couldn’t help wanting to hear what he could do in a subdued, menacing voice. He blasts through songs like “No Paradise” and “Diamond in the Rough,” but never is able to match his guitar on minimal work for maximum impact. J.R. does amazing guitar work on every song, especially “Left Hand Black” and “Each Day I Rise.” His style is so bluesy and temperamental that it is unlike anything I’ve heard in the realm of bluesy metal, and maybe even some actual blues bands.

The drums by Hank Haney were also a key ingredient in this metal blues gumbo. He compliments the feel of the music, if he’s not downright making the vibe. I loved his parts in “Act Like A Believer Redux,” where he creates such a soulful heartbeat for this living song. His work is not only good as blues though, which he proves in “Skull Mask;” a psychobilly song under a minute long and a completely different track than any other on the album. It was fun and intense, like all good rockabilly.

I definitely find this album to be different than most heavy albums. I might not go so far as to call is metal because other bands who have a similar concept have more metal tones. Blackfire Revalation is very bluesy rock with some metal tones, but nonetheless a great band.

Highs: Amazing soulful guitar work.

Lows: Vocals need a little more variety.

Bottom line: A great blues influenced listen for something different.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)