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Aeraco - Baptized by Fire

Baptized by Fire
by Harry Green at 02 October 2017, 1:23 PM

Formed in 2014 in Chicago, USA, AERACO debuted in 2015 with “All or Nothing” before releasing “Baptized by Fire” on July 28th of this year. It was probably a mistake to listen to this album while playing Road Redemption, a simple fast-paced game whose soundtrack sounds quite a lot like the release I’m supposed to be reviewing. I didn’t want to run the risk of being excessively charitable so I shut off the game and listened, and I wasn’t immensely put off. It’s still a basically fun effort and I imagine they’re a great live band.  “Baptized By Fire” doesn’t break new ground. It’s faintly retro with a very basic approach. Unlike SIMPLEFAST, another fairly basic band, AERACO benefit from enjoyably bass-heavy production that’s very good at making the album sound awesome if you’re hearing it through a wall. In addition, AERACO are as a band enjoying themselves (you have to be either cynical or genuinely having fun to make a song called “Cum to Rock”).

“Back With Vengeance” has a fairly good intro riff, and it’s a solid song inhibited by a slightly goofy chorus and repetitive structure. That said, it does sound like ORDEN OGAN covering SOLSTICE, a combination with some awesome possibilities. “Withered Rose” is probably the next track that really stands out, sounding a bit like a combination of GODSMACK and DISTURBED within a power metal approach a la MYSTIC PROPHECY. “In Vain” has an opening riff that immediately left a good impression. Any upbeat, semi-technical and catchy riff that’s a slightly altered reinterpretation of a standard pattern usually piques my interest. I could definitely have heard it on one of the less awful GREEN DAY or FALL OUT BOY songs, but knowing that Ace’s vocals wouldn’t immediately give me the sonic equivalent of a wet willy helped me enjoy the song writ large. “Bad” gives off a very strong DOKKEN vibe, as does “Tequila and Lime” (which also resembles DOKKEN’s lyrical choices) and the guitar work on “Stab In Dim Light” and “Lone Wolf”. I was also charmed by the occasional influences from HAMMERFALL, a band I used to adore back when I was in high school and whose mid-period work I still quite like. “The Outlaw” is definitely the most power metal song on here (by way of country, naturally – and very specifically “Ghost Riders In The Sky”, a song it vaguely resembles). It seems to have been specifically designed to appeal to me by name-dropping my home state and its capital and taking the listener on a short tour of the Southwest.

The copy on the band’s Facebook says their approach is “Zero clichés”, which I will denounce as a blatant and really obvious lie. The list of music that’s truly absent of clichés largely begins and ends with BLUT AUS NORD, and maybe LOCUST LEAVES and UNEXPECT but that’s not really a criticism of AERACO. This is a perfectly robust effort from a band who throw themselves into their art form.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Production: 8
Memorability: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Back With A Vengenace
2. Cum to Rock
3. Baptized By Fire
4. Stab In Dim Light
5. Tequila and Lime
6. All I Know
7. Withered Rose
8. In Hell We Trust
9. In Vain
10. Bad
11. Fighting the Fame
12. Lone Wolf
13. The Outlaw
Ace – Vocals, Guitar
Spidey – Guitar
Beast – Bass
Misfit – Drums
Record Label: Dark Star Records


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Edited 06 December 2022

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