Flame - Ignis Spiritus MCD
Formed back in that fateful year of 1998 in Tampere Rock City by erstwhile members of Barathrum and Urn, Finland's Flame soon took on a (fiery) life of its own. A couple demos burst forth from the void before a split with the cult Devil Lee Rot in 2001; another demo came in 2004, followed the next year by a split with Australia's late/great Ghastly. But it was Flame's debut album, Into the Age of Fire, where the band's iron-fisted glory was fully revealed. Here, the band summoned forth triumphant epics of gnarliness that were equal parts ancient blackthrash and just-as-ancient bestial metal, all at a time when both idioms were far less fashionable than they are now. It would take six long years before another full-length torch was revealed, but Flame's second album, aptly titled March Into Firelands, proved that the Finns' unholy conflagration was as potent as ever: dynamic yet immediately headbanging, rooted in the old ways yet never recreating anyone's past glories...but then, silence once again. But like their foundational idioms, Flame are immortal, no matter when they choose to appear and raze the scene. And raze they do with the five-song/24-minute mini-album Ignis Spiritus. A cursory read of a couple song titles - "Primordial Storm," but especially "Force and Fire" and "Firespirit of Rebellion" - should spell out in no uncertain terms that very little has changed in the Flame worldview, nor should it in the first place. After the ominous mood-setting into, Ignis Spiritus ignites with same sulfurous passion with which the band dominated the underground so many years ago, its hammering and HEAVY METAL attack still threatening and dangerous even this many years away: simply put, Flame is eternal, and this mini-album swiftly and satisfyingly proves as much...and then some! Divebombing solos at the fore and fire-tongued throat of guitarist Blackvenom leading the charge, undeniably unholy and Alpha, Flame leave no room for posers or fencesitters; you're either with them or you're gonna get burned. And this noble mission shall remain steadfast should the band choose to take another nine years between records. Will you still be there? Feel this Flame and take this torch - Ignis Spiritus is the match to burn your life to the fucking ground!