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Fueled By Fire - Past...Present...No Future Pt. 1

Fueled By Fire
Past...Present...No Future Pt. 1
by Chris Hicklin at 31 January 2022, 12:39 PM

Formed over a shared love of bands such as EXODUS and TESTAMENT, and now entering their 20th year of full Metal Thrashing, LA residents FUELED BY FIRE (is fire really a fuel…?) are returning from a recording hiatus which began shortly after their last LP “Trapped in Perdition”. This may explain where they have been since 2013 and why they have returned with such a fire burning in their souls, but whatever the reason, they are back from Perdition with a vengeance as they release the first of the two track EPs (previously known throughout modern history as “a single”) they have planned for the coming months. Although don’t expect to be hot footing it down to the local indie store to grab this one, there’s only 300 pressed worldwide.

Despite the generally violent nature of these two songs, “Disrupt” kicks off with something almost relaxed by the band’s standards. The riff initially grooves and weaves giving us a chance to examine the classic Thrash guitar tone they have nailed. Pretty quickly they get into their stride and the groove gives away to brutal, uncompromising Thrash, as Rick Rangel’s rasping, screamed vocals assault our ears in the very best of ways, coarse but his words are clear. This is a bruised, pained track, you can feel the fury of the lyrics tearing through the wall of bass, drums and fast picked riffing. According to Rangel it speaks of corruption, media manipulation, police brutality, and the generally miserable future we all must look forward to in the shadow of a pandemic and global political turmoil.

Musically, “Bloodshed” is in a similar vein, it’s a modern take on classic Thrash with a pacey hard riff, chanted backing vocals and some gloomy slower passages breaking it up, expertly written and performed throughout. Thematically, the track speaks of events that are painfully close to everybody in the music world, the horrific mass killing at the Bataclan theatre (a venue the band has performed at), that somehow seems so long ago now despite being just a few years back. A reminder that nothing is certain, and that unimaginable tragedy can be just round the corner.

Short but sour, this EP is a blast of unremitting power and energy. There’s not too much to be said about the production or the performances, they are both exceptional on every level. Rick Rangel’s lyrics are superb, and his delivery ferocious. Naturally John Rubio’s guitars are beyond reproach, it isn’t possible to create music of this nature without an axeman of superior quality, and the rhythm section of Carlos Gutierrez and Anthony Vasquez is a finely tuned killing machine. Bring on Part II.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Disrupt
2. Bloodshed
Carlos Gutierrez - Drums
Rick Rangel - Vocals, Guitars
Anthony Vasquez - Bass
Jon Rubio - Lead Guitars
Record Label: M-Theory Audio


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