Hot off the Press

Aska | Fire Eater

by Justin Gaines
– Senior Columnist/News Editor —

Aska Fire EaterLong running, Texas-based traditional heavy metal band Aska is back after a six-year absence with a new album, their sixth full-length, titled Fire Eater. The band may not have been very active in terms of new material over the past decade, but their old school heavy metal sound is just as strong and powerful as ever with this release.

For the uninitiated, Aska has been delivering traditional heavy metal since 1994. Their overall style has held up over the years, and it sounds like Judas Priest, Helstar, Iced Earth and even older Queensryche at times. There is a ton of power in these songs, and real classic heavy metal energy. Songs like “Valhalla,” “Red Cell” and closing epic “Eye of the Serpent” are great examples of the Aska sound, and also showcase the power and range singer George Call (now also with Banshee) brings. The band also serves up a fierce and haunting cover of the Judas Priest classic “The Ripper.” The only place the album ever really stumbles is when the love songs creep in. Even dark, metal love songs like “Angela” and “Harlot of Eden” seem awkward and out of place here. “Year of Jubilee,” which sounds like a Broadway musical number, also sticks out like a sore thumb, but even there you have to admire Call’s vocal performance.

They may not be reinventing the wheel here, but it’s good to see a band like Aska that has been around for so long and continues to deliver hard-hitting traditional heavy metal time and time again. If you’re already an Aska fan, Fire Eater is going to be a welcome return. If you’re new to the band but are into the so-called New Wave of Traditional Metal bands like Twisted Tower Dire, Attacker, Season of the Wolf and Widow, Aska is a band you’re going to want to discover.

Genre: Heavy Metal, Traditional Metal, Power Metal

Keith Knight (b) (v)
George Call (v) (g)
Damon Call (d)
Darren Knapp (g) (v)

Track Listing:
1. Everyone Dies
2. Dead Again
3. Valhalla
4. Son of a God
5. Angela
6. Harlot of Eden
7. Red Cell
8. The Ripper
9. Year of the Jubilee
10. The Last Message
11. Eye of the Serpent

Label: Pure Steel Records


Hardrock Haven rating: 7.5/10