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Black Flare – Black Flare

Black Flare
Black Flare
by Thomas Kumke at 26 July 2021, 2:11 PM

BLACK FLARE hailing from Portugal are a newly formed Heavy Metal band and “Black Flare” is their debut full-length album. All three members are also active in other bands such as SYMBIOSIS and TOXIKULL. The album was released via Portugese label Firecum Records which has a number of Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, and Black Metal bands among their roster. It has a length of about 41 minutes.

BLACK FLARE offer a debut album that is a traditional Heavy Metal album at its base with a few different elements included. It is an interesting mix consisting of mid-tempo, faster, and slower songs. It all starts with “Bending The Will”, a track with a straight forward texture played at mid-tempo. The guitar riffs are catchy throughout with some melodic lead guitar sequences added. The vocals are around the medium end of the vocal range and follow most often the melody. The lead guitar solo is catchy too and sounds a bit familiar to me. “Bending The Will” was released as video and the YouTube link is given below.

There is a bit of a dark side in BLACK FLARE’s sound as manifested in their slower songs such as “To Hunt”, “Hunter’s Moon”, “Beyond And Then Back”. While “To Hunt” includes powerful and dark guitar riffs, “Beyond And Then Back” is dominated by the playful lead guitar sequences, the more complex structure, and the doom-laden melodies which suit the vocals very well. “Hunter’s Moon” is one of the highlights on the album, especially because of the lead guitars. There are plenty of IRON MAIDEN vibes included and the head-banging rhythm has enough catchiness to make the song a fan’s favorite.

Talking about IRON MAIDEN vibes, they are a recurrent theme on the entire album. “Above And Beyond” is just another example for that and listening to the song, I felt literally being somewhere back in time or more precisely on “Piece Of Mind”. The title song is one of those darker and slower songs with heavy and dark guitar riffs played at head-banging rhythm. The lead guitar solo is relatively short but contributes very well to the song. “Black Flare” is surely another highlight of the album. “Fire And Black” is one of the faster songs on “Black Flare”. Most notably, the vocals are higher pitched and more variable compared to all other songs. What I noticed is that all the faster songs sound a bit fresher, more dynamic, and have more texture changes. The final episode is “Through A Barrel Of A Gun” which is for most parts a mid-tempo but with a number of tempo breaks for the chorus section. Since the track contains another IRON MAIDEN inspired lead guitar solo, it may be the song which summarizes the album best.

Black Flare” is a decent debut album. It is a traditional Heavy Metal album and BLACK FLARE do not hide their musical inspirations. Is this an album that will have a huge impact on the Heavy Metal scene? It is fair to say that it probably will not. Given the huge number of bands and albums, I miss the distinctiveness, the extra spice, and the band’s own character in sound. That may still develop over time, but BLACK FLARE need to step up a gear to make this band a success. The album was well produced in general, but there is also some room for improvement left. “Black Flare” will have its share of fans, especially those who dig classical Heavy Metal with a bit of darkness.

Songwriting:  7
Musicianship:  7
Memorability:  6
Production:  7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Bending The Will
2. To Hunt
3. By My Sword
4. Hunter’s Moon
5. Above And Beyond
6. Black Flare
7. Fire And Blood
8. Beyond And Then Back
9. Through A Barrel Of A Gun
Lineup:
Antim – Vocals, Bass
Nuno – Guitars
Luis – Drums
Record Label: Firecum Records
     


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