Album Reviews

Sudden Flames – Death Might Be Late

Released By : Self Released

Genre : Traditional Metal, Power Metal

Links : http://www.myspace.com/suddenflames


Tracklist:

1. Son Of Doom

2. Bewitched Boat

3. The Piper (Hynms Of Sorrow)

4. Nativitas In Tenebris

5. Wonderland No More

6. Hell Patrol

7. Sudden Flames

8. ‘Til The End

9. A Curse In A town

10. The Headless Horseman

11. Van Garret’s Requiem


The first thing that I noticed about this new album from SUDDEN FLAMES was just how decidedly old-school it was. Yes these guys play traditional metal like it was played in the eighties and nary a modern influence can be found anywhere. The song titles and lyrics are old-school, the album artwork is old-school and the music itself is like the bastard child of traditional metal, early power metal and NWOBHM.

Whilst paying tribute to a bygone era is something that has worked for a lot of bands over the last decade or so, sometimes something just doesn’t fit right and your left with a confusing concoction. Unfortunately that seems to be what has happened with DEATH MIGHT BE LATE. Sure, traditional purists will like this just as much as any other modern retro metal act, but beneath the shiny coating lies a beast that is not quite ready to come out of its shell just yet. Whilst obviously trying to stay as true to the traditional metal formula as possible, the trappings of doing so are quite evident here, for example do we really need another song about HEADLESS HORSEMEN? Well, SUDDEN FLAMES have actually written a three song suite about this very topic and unfortunately it comes across as quite stale, even though the guitar work across the three song epic is actually quite excellent.

I did find quite a bit of enjoyment in the lyrics though, especially in the track ‘TILL THE END, which speaks of mankind trying to outrace mother nature and the imminent end of our planet. THE PIPER was another enjoyable tune that reminded me of IRON MAIDEN, especially in the lyric department. One tune though that stood above the rest was clearly NO MORE WONDERLAND, which is lyrically a darker, more sinister take on the Alice In Wonderland story. This song also features the best actual musicality of the album and should really be the tune the band show prospective promoters and labels.

I’ve been a bit harsher on this release than I first planned on doing, but it’s only due to frustration, as SUDDEN FLAMES seem to have pretty much everything in place for success but it’s just not quite there yet and I really wanted it to be.  Give them a couple more years of playing live and recording together and we just may well be in for a massively awesome album not too far down the track. DEATH MIGHT BE LATE is still a worthy quick listen to all traditional metal fans, but don’t expect miracles.

Written By ZeeZee

Rating 6/10

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