Album Review: Spitfire – Denial to Fall

Album Review: Spitfire - Denial to Fall
Reviewed by Richard Oliver

For those with very long memories, the name Spitfire may well rattle the grey cells a little. Formed in 1984 in Athens, the Greek heavy metal outfit has a history which could form the basis for a film. Debut album ‘First Attack’ was released by EMI in 1987 before singer Dinos Costakis was forced to retire after a serious car accident. The band were forced to change their name to Speedfire before regrouping and putting out their sophomore record ‘Die Fighting’ in 2009.

Now with a new line-up that comprises original member and songwriter Elias Logginidis on guitar, vocalist Tassos Krokodilos, guitarist Panos Hatziioannidis, bassist Nikos Michalakakos, drummer George Paximadis and special guest George Aspiotis on keyboards, Spitfire have got their shit together and produced the band’s third record, ‘Denial to Fall’.

Within seconds of the opening track ‘Stand and Fight’ you know what you’re getting with Spitfire. Whilst ‘First Attack’ sounds predictably dated, this is powerful and robust traditional heavy metal. Krokodilos possesses a fine voice and his strong clean style steamrollers through the thick riffs and subtle keyboards. It’s a muscular and impressive opening to the album and one wonders if the band can sustain the quality for the rest of the release.

Album Review: Spitfire – Denial to Fall

The omens are good with second track ‘Wasted’ which maintains the piledriving approach. As the record continues, the band employ a range of classic heavy metal approaches. The title track is more Diamond Head than Metallica, but the riff is strong and the hook catchy. It’s certainly enjoyable and despite the retro feel the music is fresh enough to be more contemporary than old school. Move onto ‘Unholy’ and get the flavour of Dio, such is the majestic style that the band deliver. It’s big, bold and anthemic and the central pillar of the album. You’ll be nodding along buy the end of it.

Plenty more muscular metal follows with ‘Ready to Attack’ another meaty, a full-on track that sees the drumming of Paximadis take centre stage and rightly so as his work is blistering. There’s similarly exceptionally good musicianship from the guitarists with some scorching lead work on ‘On My Own’.

As ‘Denial to Fail’ spirals towards its conclusion, the quality remains high. ‘Naked Fire’ is another solid rocker whilst ‘Back to Zero’ is a fine conclusion to an album that is full of passion. Heavy metal has splintered into so many sub-genres these days that sometimes something a little less complex and traditional is welcome. Spitfire deliver this with aplomb.

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