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Diphtheria - To Wait For Fire (CD)

To Wait For Fire
by Grigoris Chronis at 14 May 2008, 3:32 PM

This band stands as the landmark of Heavy Metal in Cyprus. DIPHTHERIA - whose name and existence I do identify since their early days, somewhere in the mid-90s - remind me a lot of what the '80s Heavy Metal bands' case in my homeland, Greece. Five members, two guitars, no keyboards and music straight from the not-only-MAIDEN classic Metal heroes of our youth. And, most of all: Metal from the heart with endless spirit and endless metallic faith.
DIPHTHERIA did release two demo recordings in the mid-90s and then there was silence. I can recall figuring bands from 'exotic' countries back then and Cyprus meant 'DIPHTHERIA'. With 8 years of absence (singer Nicholas Leptos formed ARRYAN PATH while being in America, now still - I guess - functioning them in Cyprus, as an one-man band), this excellent quintet did open up for Greek 'pure' metallers MARAUDER somewhere back in 2003, the same year the recordings for the album herein reviews took place. The band's MySpace page refers to …the first (and probably last?) full-length album … and I don't wanna think of this option, since…
…To Wait For Fire - the first release of also Cyprus-based Pitch Black Records - lacks nearly nothing for the 80s Metal fan of bands like IRON MAIDEN, early FATES WARNING, early QUEENSRYCHE, CRIMSON GLORY and (some of) CANDLEMASS, MANOWAR and WARLORD. Bearing in mind both FATES WARNING and QUEENSRYCHE had embodied various IRON MAIDEN influences in their style(s), truth is To Wait For Fire lays on the American 80s Metal side at the most. Mid-to-up tempo rhythms, endless sharp riffing, dual leads of pure steel, crystal clear vocals with a tendency to vibratos and 'epic' expressions and - most of all - well-worked compositions that would definitely shake the Metal world 20 years ago. Due to the 'steel' recording/production, the result sounds rather fresh even for the requirements of today's market, and this is an extra benefit for DIPHTHERIA.
Some key points regarding DIPHTHERIA's music would sum it up to the full presence of guitars with tons of themes, fills, licks, solos and harmonies. The rhythm section is not as simple as assumed, since the drums/bass do 'color' a lot the songs' style. The vocals are often narrative and mourning, while - for the ones mostly familiar with today's 'true Metal' fashion - are miles away from the kinda meretricious ones incessantly used the last years in Power/Epic Metal bands. An 'audio glimpse' at Save Me or Behind The Mirror's Eye will deal with the real proof. On the other hand, harmonic yet straightforward killers like Ending Ceremony will leave diminutive chances to you not touched by their metallic madness.
To Wait For Fire is already out via Pitch Black Records, in a limited edition of 1,000 numbered copies. Is this the 'pride' of Cyprian Heavy Metal history? I think it is. Unless if your Metal dose is fulfilled by (most of) today's Metal-wannabes, just select to purchase on of the best 'traditional Heavy' CDs you've listened to the last years. This is - at least - sincere Heavy Metal passion!
P.S.: Living To Die and God Wanted (Apply Here) originally appeared in the Promo '95 demo CD. Here, in a better mix, you cannot escape but declare the multi-dominance of 6:33 and 5:02 (in respect) of majestic metallum…

4 Star Rating

Ending Ceremony
I Believe
Behind The Mirror's Eye
To Wait for Fire
As Darkness Casts Its Veil
Sleeping With The Worms
Save Me
Start Again
Living To Die (Demo '95 Bonus Track - Remastered)
God Wanted (Apply Here) (Demo '95 Bonus Track - Remastered)
Nicholas Leptos - Vocals
Phivos Papadopoulos - Guitars
Socrates Leptos - Guitars
Stavros Pamballis - Drums
Alexi David - Bass
Record Label: Pitch Black Records


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