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Fisc > Break Out > Reviews > DeathRiderDoom
Fisc - Break Out

Another Strong Effort - 72%

DeathRiderDoom, May 18th, 2009

Fisc – Break Out

Acquiring both this and ‘Tracker’ from Fisc at the same time, I’m having a pretty tough time figuring out which one I like best. Either way, I guess that’s not really important, what important is, this unknown French heavy metal band is great, producing melodic, yet punchy songs that are sure to get stuck in your head. ‘Break Out’ is a strong effort, with pace-y numbers, again drawing comparisons to decent NWOBHM and bands like Krokus.

I like the emotion presented in tracks like ‘Searchin Danger’, with powerful intro riffs, and plenty of changes taking place within the one song. This track also offers a very hard-hitting yet melodic chorus vocal, with gang shouting very much in the NWOBHM vein. Theres also a great speed metal-y shredding lead which comes in over the chorus. The melodic guitar trade offs between Jean-Michel Mauffray and Alain Aimé provide a lot of strength to the numbers, and I doubt whether Fisc would be so memorable (to me at least) without the interesting touches they provide.

The albums complimentary ballad; ‘Across a Crowded Room’ is listenable, but not too strong. I attribute this to fairly emotionless subject matter, carried through with lyrics less heartfelt than one wants in a top 80’s ballad. It’s not horrible however, and is made interesting by obligatory touches of keyboard, and the AOR feeling chorus of multiple voices that produces a good harmony. The solo matched with keyboard also is a good touch, reinforcing my earlier point about the skill of the guitarists in the band, and their importance to the overall Fisc sound.

‘Fire Eyes Lady’ is an interesting number which starts out with heavy use of organ effects before kicking into the mid-tempo melodic metal pace riffs layered excellently with lyrics over a ‘preying lady’ – classic hard rock subject matter. Gang vocals carry on the Fisc tradition, and give the track a rough edge, which is well needed among the softer vocal bits and slower tempo. Vocalist Duva is excellent, the way he makes tracks far from monotonous, using a variety of harsh and soft voices to keep the tracks interesting and punchy. The chorus in the one is a great mixture of his vocal talents and the strong gang vocal work, as well as some KISS-esque finishing.

Perhaps the most memorable track on the album is the powerful and strongly produced title ‘Break Out.’ It is given huge depth by the horror-soundtrack buildup at the start (think Dawn of the Dead) which is excellently positioned on the album, and if you’re a fan of 80’s horror films as well as 80’s melodic metal; that’s a winner. This one then kicks off with pace, in the Accept vein, before getting to its strong yet simplistic chorus lyric “Breakout!!!!” The riff work in the verses is strong and gallop-y, while quite simple. The subject matter of the song makes it a positive pro-rock anthem, in the tradition of Twsted Sister and KISS as well as countless others. The solos in ‘Break Out’ are killers, and fit in extremely well with the fast paced rockin’ verse sound. The title track is why I love Fisc. Speed metal-lish garnished energetic metal anthems with enough of that catchy melody in them to make it just right (also they stick in your mind like crazy). The speediness of this track is touched on again in the heavy number TNT.

The extremely memorable and catchy vocal work in Fisc is exemplified in the Accept-ish ‘Running Through the Night”. The verses on this one are almost certainly straight out of Balls to the Wall, but are mated with almost poppy AOR kinda sound on vocals in the chorus. A powerful, ‘reverbed’ and chorused effect on them, and an excellently 80’s lyric keep this one in your head, while strolling about downtown after hearing it at home.

Overall, another strong melodic heavy metal effort from Fisc. These French rockers have a penchant for writing heavy, yet catchy songs with just the right touch of melody, without sounding ‘cheesy’ like Van Halen and the like. To me, listening to Fisc I hear a lot of effort going into the songwriting and composition. The vocals don’t sound rough or weird as can be the case with other 80’s French acts singing in English (lord knows, the French are pretty vocal opponents of buckling to the English language). Given the 1985 release date of the album, the band is still fairly strongly rooted in NWOBHM sound, yet with enough of that continental ‘Germanic’ type sound found in other melodic heavy metal band such as Germany’s Gravestone or Swiss band Krokus. If comparing to any particular NWOBHM act it’s difficult, but the essence is there; think Tytan. ‘Break Out’ is about as good as ‘Tracker’ from the same group, with very much the same approach. If you’re like me and are into classic heavy metal with that melodic touch, go check out France’s Fisc today.