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Fireball Ministry - The Second Great Awakening 2003 Nuclear Blast Records - Reviewed by EC

Track Listing
1. Second Great Awakening (Intro), The
2. King
3. Master Of None
4. Daughter Of The Damned
5. Flatline
6. In The Mourning
7. He Who Kills
8. Rollin' On
9. Choker
10. Maidens Of Venus
Man, I love me some doom metal! What a great year it has been for the doom genre, with great releases from Dirty Power, Solace, Supervillain, Cathedral (late '02), and now newcomers Fireball Ministry.

I had researched this band somewhat, reading great reviews that this act was like 70s era Black Sabbath meets Corrosion Of Conformity. After picking this up and giving it many listens, I couldn't agree more. This album is like a lost Ozzy era Sabbath release.

Fireball Ministry have released their second album upon the masses, with this new album the first for Nuclear Blast. Coming at us from the mystical land of California, Fireball Ministry is made up of Reverend James A. Rota III on vocals and guitar, Emily Burton on guitar, Janis Tanaka on bass, and John Oreshnick on the sticks. The act combine to throw down some heavy guitar licks with the style and grace that Sabbath displayed 30 years ago.

"The Second Great Awakening" is an album that is chock-full of smash mouth doom grumblings, but at the same time the twin guitar harmony of Rota and Burton really take the listener into a peaceful journey, almost making the record hypnotic. On "He Who Kills", the twin guitar starts things off on a smooth ride before giving way to the bone crushing grindage this band produces. Its really a nice change of pace for a doom release. The same can be said for the melancholic "Choker", another fine piece of slow heavy melody.

"Master Of None" is where the obvious traces of Corrosion Of Conformity can be found, with the Pepper-like guitar melody and the working man blues type lyrics. "King", "The Sinner", and "Rollin' On" is pure bottom heavy wattage, slamming along like prime Sabbath or Cathedral.

My favorite cuts are "Daughter Of The Damned", with its strange melodic signature, and the group's single (if they still have metal singles) "Flatline", which has a really catchy chorus that almost sounds like 70s era stadium rock ala Foreigner or even Queen.

This album is HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommended for fans of Sabbath, Count Raven, Cathedral, Spiritual Beggars, Electric Wizard, Orange Goblin, and Candlemass.

I'm extremely happy that Nuclear Blast have added some more doom to their roster, and I'm very excited at the possibility that Fireball Ministry could lead the way for a doom revolution in mainstream music. Everything eventually comes back around, and it looks like metal has come full circle again.

"If I do one thing right at MTV, it'll be to make Fireball Ministry the biggest band in the world." - Iann Robinson, MTV News.


--EC 10.16.03
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: FIREBALL MINISTRY
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
The Second Great AwakeningFireball Ministry
2003
Eric Compton10/16/2003
Their Rock In Not Our RockFireball Ministry
2005
Eric Compton12/4/2005


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