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‘The Fire Within’ is Munroe’s first full length solo release since the demise of Metal Church, the band he sang for after replacing original vocalist David Wayne. The album begins with ‘Far’, which is an up tempo opener, featuring some solid drumming from Johnny Ringo. Next up is ‘What You Choose To Call Hell (I Call home)’ and, despite an intro that is reminiscent of ‘Painkiller’ by Judas Priest and a guest appearance on guitar by Michael Wilton of the mighty Queensryche, it’s a fairly average track with no real distinguishing features. Again, the next track, ‘Deafening Hypocrisy’, is no better than reasonable, although it does feature a good, chugging riff. The next few tracks are from the same mould and it is not until we get to ‘Across The Sea of Souls’ that things start to pick up. This track is slightly slower in tempo and has a more balladic feel to it and the change of pace benefits the track greatly. Another appearance by Michael Wilton is the icing on the cake. In fact, this album is something of a curate’s egg - good in parts. It just so happens that the best parts are in the second half of the CD. ‘Desperate Man’ follows ‘Across.…’ and is another strong cut, which features a nice keyboard dominated intro, which continues throughout as a riff. ‘Ivory Towers’ has a good groove to it, while ‘Ride Me’ has somewhat chauvinist lyrics which would have been at home on a Motley Crue or Poison album in the 80s. The album closes with a cover of the absolute classic by Rainbow, ‘Man on the Silver Mountain’. Ronny has a good stab at reproducing this legendary track but no one can really touch that other rock n roll Ronnie, Dio, in the vocals department and the guitar is not quite up to Blackmore standards. To sum up, this isn’t a bad album, it just isn’t a brilliant one. Persevere with it because the better material is on the second half of this release. It will be interesting to see if Munroe can improve on this effort next time around. I, for one, think he probably can.
Metal Heaven
Review by Dave Uphill
28th Sept 2009
1) Far
2) What You Choose To Call Hell (I Call Home)
3) Deafening Hypocrisy
4) Rebuild the Ruins
5) Delirium
6) Demon Opera
7) Across the Sea of Souls
8) Desparate Man
9) Ivory Towers
10) Evil Genius
11) Ride Me
12) Man On A Silver Mountain
"...this album is something of a curate’s egg - good in parts. It just so happens that the best parts are in the second half of the CD."