GODS OF FIRE, Wrath of the Gods (2004, Black Thirteen)
Man, this one whips up one magickal psychedelic visage of a skull! Look into those eyes…weird organic matter, like black lava swirling and cooling, with what looks like elaborately sculpted smoke whirling up the sides, with teeth that are not human and some pretty good looking gums, considering the advanced state of decay this person has gone through by this point. This person with the teeth of a badger. And then, yes, lots of fire burning below, a recurring theme for many a skull album cover. The skull itself almost gets lost in all this madness.
Gods Of Fire sounds influenced by King Diamond, Sanctuary, Iron Maiden and Manowar. Unfortunately, listening to these eight songs and 53 minutes is a chore. Their hearts are in the right place, but it’s pretty low-rent stuff. Too many ham-fisted stabs at grandiosity (“Promethus Unbound”), some flat-out bad notes (the guitar themes that open “Nectar of the Gods”), and vocals that try for a wide range but are dull and powerless at every turn. Sometimes the musicianship is pretty good, despite weak spots, but there’s this overall void running throughout that makes it feel like parody. The recording is far too dry, which doesn’t help their cause. It’s frustrating to listen to a band reaching for golden heights only to come back with greasy scraps. I cheer for them with part of my heart while my entire brain says, “No…please…no.” On a fun little note, their second album is called Hanukkah Gone Metal. I am not kidding. Here’s a lyric from “No Gelt, No Glory”: “No Gelt No Glory baby / I let it ride on Gimel must walk away a winner now / No Gelt No Glory baby / If you want to play then baby gimme a ‘HEI!'” The first line goes “With the dreidel in my hand I give it a lucky whirl.” It’s sure more interesting than the stock-mythology lyrics running throughout Wrath of the Gods.
— Friar Wagner