A souped-up 4 piece Southern-groove-metal machine from Nottingham, the UK’s Line Of Fire have been threatening a full length debut for years – they’ve a couple of EP’s in the bag already alongside numerous festival appearances including Hammerfest, Bloodstock, Wildfire and Download – and Nothing In My Way is finally upon us….but was it worth the wait?
They may be from Nottingham but Line Of Fire drink from the same firebrand font originally blessed by NOLA graduates Down, Corrosion Of Conformity (Pepper Keenan-era) and Crowbar and with the chug-heavy riffs of one Paddy O’ Malley (Lawnmower Deth) featuring heavily, and the sledgehammer rhythms of Incinery’s Ste Dudley, Line Of Fire are a band ripe with pedigree and have the necessary skills to match their New Orleans brethren.
As heavy as fuck but blessed with a Southern-fired lightness of touch, the grooves come thick and fast and so do the vocal hooks. “Fallen From Grace” is a canny slice of Americana which builds and builds and builds in intensity until one hell of a rip-roaring solo heralds its end. “Wrong Side Of the Tracks” could have been taken from Lynyrd Skyrnyrd’s Street Survivors and no one would bat an eyelid while the relative randomness of titling a track “Fuck Me” (and the sheer number of times this particular expletive is used) could indicate we’re back in Lawnmower Deth territory but this is as direct a Southern-groove ball-crusher as you’d ever wish to find! In fact, it’s a pissed-off colossus and the kind of track that’ll fuck you in the face and won’t even think about apologising for its intrusive candour. The staccato-chug onslaught of “One War” then proceeds to add insult to injury by fucking you some more, pogoing its way through your cranium with its stop-start rhythms and incessant head-banging riffs.
All in all, if you took the anvil-heavy grooves of Metallica’s The Black Album and the heavier, yet still melodic, moments from Down you’d be in Line Of Fire’s ballpark. Which is not a bad place to be!
It’d be fair to say that we’ve heard this sort of darn thing over and over again – and predominantly via the output of our American cousins – but Line Of Fire are so irresistibly good at what they do, that it can’t hurt to warmly embrace an album of Nothing In My Way‘s ilk just one more time. Well worth the wait, then! 8/10
Line Of Fire‘s Nothing In My Way is due for release on 22nd June, 2018.