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Probably their weakest yet - 78%

rasmushastrup, March 7th, 2007

But of course, a weak ATP album still rocks far harder than most albums out there. However, after having followed ATP for some years, I feel that there are a few points that need to be mentioned in connection with this album. Let's begin with the new vocalist, Kyle Thomas - he's excellent and then some. But it seems as if he's guilty of adding a more traditional heavy metal sound to this particular release than is found on previous ATP releases. So 'Open Fire', while it most certainly is a great HM album, seems to be less of a 'southern fried kick-ass rock thing' than a heavy rock album cirka 1981 (I swear, a few riffs remind me of Judas Priest). The first track is typical of the album as a whole - it's heavy, it rocks, it kicks butt, but hey - this isn't quite what I expected. The cover is the same - a viking warrior wielding weapons looks more like Manowar or Bolt Thrower than great southern rock'n'roll.
This does not change the fact that ATP are one of the hardest rocking bands on the planet, capable of writing some of the best rock songs this earth has ever known. Check out 'Words the Dying Man' or 'Three Stars' from 'Fulton Hill' to see what I mean. To sum up: this is a fuckin' great rock album, but it falls somewhat short of what we've come to expect from this amazing band.