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FLIGHT OF FIRE Path Of The Phoenix

By Jay Roberts, Massachusetts Contributor
Tuesday, November 8, 2016 @ 1:57 PM

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Path Of The Phoenix

Self-Released - 2016

When you have an all female rock band, it is both cliche and inevitable that you'd look to see if they meet the standard to be described as "badass rocker chicks". Well, it might be cliche, but the women of FLIGHT OF FIRE effortlessly live up to that standard. Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, the four piece have released an album that grabs you from the start and won't let go to the final notes.

Having caught FLIGHT OF FIRE live with no prior knowledge of their material, the fact that I enjoyed the songs so much in their live setting made me want to hear what the studio album sounded like.

Funded by a Kickstarter fundraiser, the self-released Path Of The Phoenix finds the band and their material fully fleshed out and the individual members musically tight. They do a great job of living up the description on their website that they "explore the musical textures of upbeat hard rock, emotional folk rock, and complex symphonic rock."The seven song concept album's storyline follows a woman named Arcana who seeks out the Daughters of Venus, a coven of women who have all survived their own traumas and worship the Phoenix. "It's the story of her journey and finding her own strength", according to the group's singer Maverick.

The album's booklet lays out each song as a chapter and the interior artwork features a tarot card motif with the accompanying lyrics for each track.

Tanya Venom on guitars helps fuel the band's fiery rocker persona (I really love her playing here), but her work on the acoustic guitar also greatly informs the "My Last Gamble" track as well. Sister Tia Mayhem's bass work gives the songs the thunderous foundation for the music to build upon as the songs come to life. They both provide the drums for "My Last Gamble" as well. Speaking of drums, five of the seven songs feature drum work from 2016 Hit Like A Girl champion Helen De La Rosa (though Kat Dukeshire is the group's new drummer and I can attest to just how fantastic she is concert).

The variety of the song styles make for a sublime blending of the individual tracks. There are some solid mid groove rockers, balls out uptempo rockers and one insanely beautiful ballad like track that really won me over.

"Ten Thousand Voices" blows out of the speakers almost unexpectedly, catching you by surprise. There's a pure rock sound that explodes into a musical cacophony deeper into the track. While the band is compared to HEART, EVANSECENCE and HALESTORM I found that on this particular track, vocalist Maverick is almost eerily similar in vocal tone and phrasing to CHASTAIN's Leather Leone, at least in certain parts of the performance. The lyric "Ten thousand voices but none of them my own" was a winner to me as well.

The acapella vocal opening to "Rockstar Life" gives way to an energetic rocking and anthemic vibe. "My Last Gamble" opens acoustically, but as the song progresses, things take a turn towards a big footstomping romp that reminds me of a swamp rocker type of tune. All four of the members are involved vocally in the song. Just a big earworm track to dig in to, you can check out the official video on KNAC.COM right HERE.

FLIGHT OF FIRE proceeds to put the hammer down on "One More Sip" and "Better Off Without You", with each song blindingly fast and intense with a bit of venom running through each track's veins. The former is one of the best tracks on the disc, while the latter shows the the fiery intensity of Maverick's vocal performance to a supreme degree. These two songs meld both the vocal and instrumental together seamlessly with all four members of the band attacking their performances in a rip-roaring take no prisoners style. Tanya Venom's guitar is furious here!

There's some powerful guitar work on the closing number "Daughters Of Venus" and the song becomes a huge event-like piece of music as the album and story come to a close. The use of a huge backing choir adds to the epic feel and nature of the song.

As for the ballad...well...anyone who has ever read anything I've written has probably figured out that I generally hate any kind of song that would fall under the heading of "ballad". Regardless of the lyrical subject matter, I've heard so many that are the "love" song of the album that it has become redundant and a little repugnant. But on the acoustic based "In Spite Of You", the rug itself was pulled out from under this long held opinion of mine as the lyrics alternate between a cataloguing of heartbreak and the eventual empowerment and comeback from said heartbreak. The vocals from Maverick are more restrained here. She is vocally smooth and sleek and the emotion she conveys with each successive lyrical line makes this song pure magic. It is a killer tune, period.

Yes, this is a debut album from an unsigned band, but FLIGHT OF FIRE amply demonstrates on Path Of The Phoenix that they've got what it takes to churn out high quality rock and roll with depth and feeling. Yes, these girls (women) can rock like nobody's business!

I really enjoyed the band in a live concert setting, but I'm very happy that the studio album served to confirm why I pretty much instantly liked what I was hearing. This is an album that I really connected with and I can only hope for more to come in the future as FLIGHT OF FIRE takes off.

4.5 Out Of 5.0

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