Album Reviews

Final Sign – Hold High the Flame Review

Released by: Tribunal Records

Release date: 30 October 2015

Genre: Heavy Metal, Power Metal

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Brian “Hellstorm” Williams – Guitar

Kevin Haverlah – Drums

Howard Baker – Bass

Shawn Pelata – Vocals


Track Listing:

01. Daring the Sun

02. Burn the Temple Down

03. Hold High the Flame

04. Possessor

05. The Sinister Silence

06. Scaling Lies

07. Madness Eternal

08. The Ominous Black


2016 is already shaping up to be an amazing year for metal and hard rock with strong releases from such luminaries as thrash icons Megadeth and the newly solo Black Metal legend Abbath of Immortal releasing some top notch albums. Not to be outdone on a lesser-known scale you have a band called Final Sign hailing from North Carolina. The band have culminated from other NC based veteran metal bands, to create their own vision of where metal should be, taking a sound rooted in the classics of heavy metal and bringing them current. Despite my adoration of the aforementioned known acts, I’m putting my money on this band as they’ve already released a top contender for album of the year.

Their debut Hold High the Flame is everything a metal album should be, now and forever. For starters you have an amazing vocalist, Shawn Pelata, whose voice is a unique mixture of Bruce Dickinson’s lower range, Ralf Scheepers of Primal Fear, a dash of Geoff Tate and hints of Udo rolled into this powerful voice that merely hints at these legendary voices laying down an ability totally his own. Also melding the musical elements of those bands to create a brilliant mix of new age thrash with the brilliance of American Power Metal, in particular with tracks like ultra aggressive “Possessor,” the heavy and melodic “Scaling Lies,” the first single “Burn the Temple Down” updating the classic NWOBHM sound, and the masterful gallop of “Madness Eternal” you truly realize the excellence of Final Sign. Featuring the instantly catchy fretwork of Brian Williams, whose guitar prowess is finely matched with the thunderous backdrop provided by drummer Kevin Haverlah and bassist Howard Baker, you have a band that with their first release are heading in a direction some bands spend a lifetime never achieving. Kudos to these four men for stepping up to the plate and delivering an album that any metal fan would be happy to listen to.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the bar is set, and is pretty damn high. This is a superb debut from a band, and I expect big things coming their way based on the level of abilities (of course, we realize that rarely happens, but not from wont of trying.) I highly recommend getting your hands on Final Sign’s Hold High the Flame. Pound for pound, note for note, this one will be a tough one to beat, and one I suspect will get numerous listens from me. It’s the one I’ve gone back to the most so far.


Written by: Chris Martin


Ratings: Chris 10/10

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