The Band

Lots of thrash bands do their best to sound retro, but Hell Fire manage to sound classic. The San Francisco-based four-piece doesn’t come off like they’re attempting to emulate the bands of the early-to-mid-’80s so much as their chuggy, infectious sound channels the things that made that era exciting in the first place. More so, Hell Fire walk the thin line that is speed metal, adding extra momentum to classic heavy metal riffs rather than going hard on punk’s aggression and misanthropy, which puts them in the same category as rare acts like Raven and Exciter.
The title track from the band’s upcoming new album, Mania, is a perfect example of this approach. The song is mid-paced for thrash but fast for traditional heavy metal; it has all the chugging stomp of a band like Anthrax, but still goes hard on the gravitas and grandiosity of early Maiden and Saxon. The result is traditional heavy metal with a kick in the ass, that doesn’t need to add on a lot of canned angst to get heads banging and fists pumping.
In the words of guitarist/vocalist Jake Nunn, “Thematically, everything on the album comes from personal experiences…From the highs of partying together out here in Oakland, or the nostalgia of being a kid learning Zeppelin on a beat up guitar, to the extreme lows of isolation, personal trauma, and mental illness. Sonically we want our records to sound like you’re standing in front of the stage at a show. The power of Marshall stacks in front of your face, drums at your ear level, thunder of the bass and feeling the presence of the room.”
- Kerrang! Magazine on Hell Fire's upcoming album

“The band have delivered another superb album and have cemented their position as unsung heroes of underground heavy metal in the USA. My only hope is that our scene will sit up and take notice. Hell Fire are too damned good and too damned special to be languishing in obscurity in the Bay Area while the critical darlings get invited to play Keep It True and hyped in social media. In a just world, Hell Fire would be receiving the buzz and the accolades both domestically and abroad. I’m doing my part. Now go do yourself a favor and buy Free Again, will you? And pick up Metal Masses, while you’re at it. You can thank me later.”

- True Metal Lives

There is never enough of the classic Metal vibe, and every single bit of it created nowadays is a blessing. Some might not reach the old standards, yet some might just blow your minds. Hell Fire is an example of an anti-trend, going with forward, sharing the blood with an era that is in the course of resurrection.
- Metal Temple

"These fine gentlemen are all hardboiled veterans of the scene, each one having tons of medals in his agenda. Hell Fire is one of those bands that you know are killer right from the first listen , Great harmonies and potent choruses remind us of the great Heavy Metal bands of the heydays and the sheer energy that emanates from the tunes are more than enough to put it in a respectable position in the genre this year."
- Acier Doux Metalzine Tunisia

"If anything, Free Again is a definite step up from Metal Masses - while the debut was more or less comprised of slap dash riffing and ambulance siren sounding, Kirk Hammett style leads (from Metallica's roughshod Kill 'Em All) this latest offering presents itself as more confidant and hungry. The quartet is well on its way to establishing its own identity and signature sound. As well, there's an undeniably organic and unpretentious element present throughout. If Hell Fire can keep up its game, expect a gargantuan third release which won't escape notice." 
- Metal-Archives

"Borrowing the bold red-on-black cover lettering from Kill ‘Em All (little Metallica similarities in their moniker design too), the debut from this Cali based outfit exudes “metal”, from the close-up artwork of a blurred hand, playing a Flying V to the hint of Iron Maiden in “Into The Light”. Don't let the disc opening, acoustic prelude fool you, this is ten tracks of wall-to-wall, twin lead, old school riffing (verging on thrash) and screaming high pitched vocals.
Usually the province of European bands, Hell Fire are from the same camp of American acts like Night Demon, Spellcaster, Visigoth, Widow and Holy Grail, re-imaging traditional metal for a new age. Love the picking to kick off “Night Terror” as well as the dual solos on “Islands Of Hell”. The chugging title cut recalls their San Fran mentors, apart from the vocals (more Alan Tecchio, of Hades, in scope). “Excelsior” is a full blown (4:21) instrumental, leading directly into “Battlecry”. A cappella vocals greet the “Escape Purgatory” closer, as the tempo rises. Initially just a digital download, damn shame the CD didn't meet my ears earlier, as it would have garnered Top Albums Of 2016 consideration. Already in the process of recording a follow-up. Watch for it!"


“These guys bring the wrath that Maiden did in their heyday, but with the ferocity of modern day metal. With a singer that can belt like Halford and a pair of guitarists that intend on shredding your faces off!”

 - Wrecked Reviews

“Local old-school speed/thrash metal band Hell Fire opened the gig with an excellent 40-minute set and provided the ideal warm-up for Exodus. They played tunes that showcased a clear Iron Maiden influence and had strong power metal elements but boasted of the local thrash flavor as well. Their vocalist laid down some epic high-pitched screams that struck the right chord with the old-school metalheads in this crowd, while the guitarists combined well to present some nicely crafted harmonies and solos. The band as a whole showed great stage presence and brought the right amount of energy to get the crowd involved through circle pits, wherein even a dude on wheelchair was seen being sped around in circles by his friend/helper. The singer himself dived from the stage and joined the mosh pit towards the end. Through this high-octane set of theirs, Hell Fire served the perfect.”

- Metal Assault

“After listening to these talented you men, you would think they were a bunch of old timers still riding on the same line up since back in the 80s. But after taking a close look at the band you see it’s a bunch of dudes in their 20’s who love to party and keep a kick ass style of metal alive!”

- LMB Esclusive