INNER SIEGE: Fury of Ages

InnerSiege has returned with a platter, full of Euro/American Power Metal goodness.  After an 8 year hiatus between releases and much wondering on my part if this album would ever be released I’m happy to be listening to their latest release Fury of Ages. 

Akin to bands such as Iron Maiden, Primal Fear, Firewind, while also holding some of the heavier guitar tropes of Judas Priest or Metal Church; InnerSiege is a band with a broad appeal to metal fans of all genres, unless your only type of metal preference is one affiliated with a dentist drill on max.  So yes that means clean vocals here abound unashamedly. 

One of the most amazing things about InnerSiege is that the band has remained the same personnel wise since the release of their first album in 2013. Determination and drive is a hallmark of this release, hard work and relentlessness shine forth. 

Jeremy Ray returns on vocals, Kevin Grose and J.L. Prater again deliver amazing guitar interplay throughout.  Their solos are stellar with amazing arrangements that deliver a wide range of dynamics.  Ravn Furfjord brings the bass rumblings along with occasional extreme vocal prowess. Wade Helm is the other part of the rhythmic backbone on drums, not content with just playing it straight he delivers some dynamic accents and fantastic double bass work.

The songs offer the listener crunchy riffs and great musicianship. Album opener Calling for Violence is a call to be alert in these dark times.  A pile driving riff propels things along and sets the stage for what is to come.  Reborn slows it down a touch with a crunchy riff before it moves into a more energetic gallop. Lyrically; it’s a more testimonial song about a person trapped by their vices and desiring escape from them.

Firewind is another speeding bullet of track with plenty of melody. I wonder if lyrically it relates to Elijah being taken to heaven in a fiery chariot.  Written from a first person point of view, it’s explicit in its content but doesn’t mention the actual individual, however it could be just the listener as well.  Jeremy Ray’s lyrics this time out are much more explicit spiritually than what was heard on their previous release.  Not trite or cheesy, but extremely well thought through. 

Even the metal anthem “Power-Metal-Glory” which on the surface could be taken for another bit of heavy metal whiz, I found myself agreeing with its biographical context.

“Iron Lotus” delivers a pounding four and half minutes of instrumental guitar wizardry. With Ravn’s bass providing a floor for the rest of the band to work from.

One thing for my ears on this album is that it’s not as immediate to me as their debut was.  It took a good 5-6 listens before I was drawn back and into it. Another observation was that Fury of Ages seems to lack a little of the crispness and punch of their first release on the production front.  I’m not sure if that is a mastering issue or simply a production choice. 

A solid powerful album Fury of Ages is and you would do yourself a disservice by ignoring this release. So strap on your twin guitar attack and dive into this delightful assortment of melodic heavy power metal.  Fans of Theocracy, Millennial Reign, and older Narnia should devour this up.  I know I am.

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