FIERCE HEART – War For The World

FIERCE HEART - War For The World
  • 7.6/10
    FIERCE HEART - War For The World - 7.6/10


Dark Star Records/Sony/Universal
Release date: August 24, 2020

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Iconic shredmaster Rex Carroll whets the appetite for his singular skills with the scorching opening instrumental off War For The World, the new album from his pre-Whitecross recording band, Fierce Heart. Carroll’s fretwork on “Into The Sun” sonically conjures the feeling of climbing through earth’s atmosphere and then burning up as the listener finally plummets towards Earth’s closest star. At just over a minute long, Carroll’s solo opener is a thrilling rocket ride that telegraphs War For The World‘s greatest strength as well as it’s greatest weaknesses.

Amped up by the lead solo, listeners moving track by track through the album might not notice the flaws listening to “Build For Speed”, the solid opening single off the album, but they are there. Riding an excellent collection of classic Carroll riffs and singer Robert Reynolds’ top shelf vocals, the song is pure Sunset Strip-style Metal circa 1985. Reynolds’ bluesy delivery is a perfect compliment to Carroll’s bag o’ riffs, and the rhythm section provides a reliable base for Carroll and Reynolds to shoot their pyrotechnics from.

Too reliable.

“Out For Blood” is another good song, featuring more fiery Carrollisms starting us off and bringing us home. Reynolds is uniformly excellent, and the rhythm section, composed of Nick Forchione on drums and Antonio Acevedo on bass, is uniformly reliable. So, so reliable. These poor guys are never really given the chance to break out and contribute dynamically to the driving energy of the songs on War For The World. There are few drums fills and bass flourishes on the album; many of Carroll’s solos are primarily couched in a beat that remains unchanged from the preceding choruses.

The “no fills or frills” rhythm section is idiomatic of a certain style of ’80s style Metal, especially guitar hero led Metal, but one can’t help wonder how these very good songs might have been improved if Forchione and Acevedo were given the opportunity to cut loose even just a little bit. Certainly an uncluttered mix gives Carroll the ability to shine, but would a more responsive rhythm section elevated the good to great?

The remainder of the album is as solid and reliable as the rhythm section, steady 4/4 beats, great vocals, incendiary guitar. The power ballad “Lost In Love” provides a soothing midpoint for the album; while none of the second half of the album’s songs match the heat of “Built For Speed” or “Out For Blood”, they kick along with aural energy. “Rest My Bones” uses an opening campfire acoustic guitar to create a world-weary tone, the title track has one of Reynolds’s best performances. Despite the thirty-five year gap between albums, Fierce Heart prove they are imminently dependable.


  • Daniel Waters

    Daniel was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. Iron Maiden’s Piece Of Mind wasn’t the first Metal album he owned, but it was the one that lifted the lid off his soul when he received the record as a gift on his 15th birthday. He's been a Metal fan ever since. He's probably best known as the author of various Young Adult novels such as the Generation Dead series and the ghost story Break My Heart 1,000 Times, now also a major motion picture entitled I Still See You, starring Bella Thorne. Writing and music, especially Heavy Metal music, has always been inextricably linked in his mind and career. His first paid gig doing any type of writing was for Cemetery Dance, where he wrote a horror-themed music column called Dead Beats, and when he was writing the first Generation Dead novel he had a ritual where he started his writing day with a Metal playlist that kicked off with “Crushing Belial” by Shadows Fall.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.