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Flame, Dear Flame – Millennial Heartbeat Award winner

Flame, Dear Flame
Millennial Heartbeat
by Dave Nowels at 24 April 2019, 9:45 AM

Self describing themselves as ‘Epic Doom’, FLAME, DEAR FLAME cite early MANOWAR, SOLTICE and “Hammerheart” era BATHORY among their influences. Hailing from Brunswick Germany, the group manages to even touch a bit on a Symphonic vibe predominately represented via Maren Lemke’s stunning vocals. “The Millennial Heartbeat” is a concept comprised of three parts that the ensemble indicates is ‘the genesis of the ocean and the thanatography of the land; a testimony of the forces of nature and its frailty alike.’  I admit, I had to look up thanatography in the dictionary, and I’m glad I did. The word refers to a treatise on death, and places the context of these songs in a much clearer view.

“The Millennial Heartbeat” as a complete piece clocks in at 21 ½ minutes, with each of its three tracks averaging 7 minutes each, and ultimately, it represents a triumphic debut. I’m not usually a fan of symphonic styled metal and it’s overindulgent grandstanding. This is different. There is more than enough tuned down riffage and fuzz present here that I wasn’t able to simply write this off. Indeed, much like the bands description, they’ve done an outstanding job blending “the forces of nature and its frailty alike”.

The first two parts present the frailty, with Lemke’s vocals capturing a somber and solemn quality that provides a misleading melancholy. A calm before the storm if you will. Throughout these two parts, one can feel a building oppressiveness, much like a coastal storm The band uses occasional silence just as effectively as a riff to set the mood here and not once does the progress bog down. These two parts feel like defiance underestimating the inevitable. Indeed, the third part roars in like a gale force wind with initial riffs rendering everything previously established asunder. Lemke’s vocals here take on a more urgent approach, while the music swirls and conjures a darker occult feel. The storm seems to pass just as quickly as it began as the song slowly fades to its conclusion.

“Millennial Heartbeat” is a fascinating debut for FLAME, DEAR FLAME. It managed to leave me craving more, and surprised me far more with its creative blending of symphonic and doom than I would have ever thought. I’m adding these guys to my ever growing list of bands to watch. There’s a tremendous amount of potential brewing here, and it’s going to be exciting to see it unleash.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. The Millennial Heartbeat Part I
2. The Millennial Heartbeat Part II
3. The Millennial Heartbeat Part III
Maren Lemke – Vocals
David Kuri – Guitars
Johannes Rahm - Guitars
Martin Skandera – Bass
Jan Franzen – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 03 February 2023

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