Wow! I remember sharing the same stage with Dead Aim at Formerly Dominics in Norfolk, Va. in 1983. They were one of the first local bands to mix hardcore with metal, and they were hard as Hell for that time. This is their 4th album- their 1st being the 1985 release HomeBoy, and if you listen to both in one sitting, you will hear how much better they have become.
From the first song Better Off Dead to the last, Good Enough to Eat, what you have is a balls-out straight ahead hardcore album of the highest quality. Really, these are not sloppy, slap-dash hardcore songs, but expertly crafted songs, painstakingly produced to the last detail. The song Grace of the Furies begins with an ethereal guitar intro that bursts open into a head-on collision of guitar fury and drum abandon, and if you listen closer, you will hear progressive rock played at triple speed. These guys know how to play their instruments, that much is certain, because while they are sticking to a Hardcore recipe, their love of prog, country, metal and blues truly shines through, delivering a polished record of in your face blasts of good old American Hardcore Punk.
The lyrics are angry, and confrontational, and most are conveying the fact that Dead Aim has been around the block and will not easily be fooled. The 8th song, Push Away starts out all bluesy, with the soulful vocals of Mark D. Bishop questioning “who do you think you are to be so cruel? And how long did you think I would be your fool?” ‘Nuff said. The song progresses from a 70s blues-infused rock riff into a full blown attack, reminding me of early Necros, which is really a good thing. The lead guitar playing of Bishop is above average, and displays a level of technical prowess not witnessed in many hardcore bands then or now. The vocals are forceful, anguished at times, rising to the demands of the fast pace of the music.. The rhythm section of Lenny Hines (drums) and Darrel Brooks (bass) kills it; pushing everything forward in an onrush of energy, never missing the mark. Simply put, Hellfire Stoked by Dead Aim contains 11 songs of top shelf hardcore punk that just isn’t being made anymore, which is a crying shame.
The Thugbrarian Review
Mark D Bishop – Guitars , Vocals
Darrell Brooks – Bass , Vocals
Lenny Hines – Drums
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