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Final Sign
Hold High The Flame
Type: CD
Company: Divebomb
Release: 2015
Genre: Traditional
Reviewer: Greg Watson
A solid dose of no bones power metal
North Carolina's Final Sign features Brian "Hellstorm" Williams of October 31 and singer Shawn Pelata of Line of Fire on vocals with drummer Kevin Haverlah and bassist Howard Baker rounding out the quintet. "Hold High the Flame" features some incredible tracks courtesy of "Hellstorm" and his penchant for driving, catchy riffs. Pelata's vocals soar into the stratosphere at times, with his vocal performance being reminiscent of R.D. Liapakis of Mystic Prophecy and Valley's Eve. The album is a solid dose of no bones power metal. Straight forward and packing a serious wallop, "Hold High" is a great listen and a solid effort from this band. Standout tracks are "Hold High the Flame" with its ripping solo and riffs, "Possessor" for its thrashy vibe and Pelata's visceral and powerful vocals and closing track "The Ominous Black" for its overall heaviness, guitar work and incredible vocals. An album sure to delight traditional metal fans worldwide, "Hold High the Flame" does just that and delivers an album that will have you busting out the air guitar in no time.

About this Writer:
Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.

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 reviews for Final Sign:
Hold High The FlameFinal Sign
Greg Watson8/19/2016

All interviews for Final Sign:

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