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Fireball Ministry - Fireball Ministry

By Charlie Steffens aka Gnarly Charlie, Writer/Photographer
Monday, February 22, 2010 @ 9:27 AM


Restricted Release

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Fireball Ministry’s fourth release is a triumphant return to the infectious sound that garnered the group a devoted following over the last decade. Though it’s been four years or more since their last album, Their Rock Is Not Our Rock, the band’s mission to play heavy and keep it fun is still ironclad. This comes across loud and clear in a 10-track offering, aptly titled Fireball Ministry. “Hard Lines” tears up the road with fiery rhythm, sound, and power, much like AC/DC and Motorhead, iconic bands that Fireball unapologetically venerate. The Southern-fried, made-to-be-played-loud, “Fallen Believers” is an instant classic, and exemplifies how the Reverend James Rota, Emily Burton, John Oreshnick, and Johny Chow can gel while trying something different. “Kick Back” is a high-revving, boogie-woogie number, tastefully paying homage to Molly Hatchet, be it intentional or not. “Butcher, Faker, Policy Maker” is a pointed, cleverly-penned song with the elements of earlier works, yet with more “hitability” than most of their previous material.

This self-titled release is the most accessible (or catchy) effort to date for Fireball Ministry. Not to fear, metalhead--the Rota/Burton guitar duo sounds as badass as ever. “Thought it Out” is probably the most radio-friendly track the band has ever recorded--certainly worthy of lots of airplay--while some core believers might find it a bit too jollypop-sounding. However, the material on this album was made from four musicians who never gave a shit about hitting one out of the park at the expense of their integrity. Bands of a lesser god do that and often sell lots of records. Then they burn in hell. Fireball Ministry sticks to a simple formula that works and that they live by: rock.

* * * * ½

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