Fireball Ministry - The Second Great Awakening
Nuclear Blast
Stoner Metal / Hard Rock
11 songs (43:02)
Release year: 2003
Fireball Ministry, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Khelek
Archive review

Fireball Ministry are a band that I've been listening to on and off for several years now. Their brand of stoner metal and hard rock is catchy and easy to listen to yet still manages to be somewhat interesting. The third full length release from Los Angeles stoner metal outfit might not be the most original stoner metal album you've ever heard, but it's impossible not to get into at least a few of the songs.

The instrumental opening is unnecessary but I think it gives you a good feel for the music and transitions nicely into the first song, King. This song pretty much gives you a good idea of how the rest of the album is going to play out. It's a catchy, mid-paced collection of heavy riffs and drumming that let's you know this is a traditional stoner metal album. The vocals remind me of a cross between Ozzy Osbourne and something a bit deeper and less nasally. The music reminds me a bit of Spiritual Beggars except less technical. However, even though the music is pretty simple, it is well written and well executed, which makes it pretty enjoyable albeit rather repetitive. The Sinner is a favorite track of mine, the guitars are slower and mid-paced and keep the song melodic while the vocals compliment this atmosphere. There is also some nice guitar work towards the end of the song. Again, nothing too technically superior, but well done nonetheless. Daughter Of The Damned is another slower song on the album, I suppose it could almost be called a ballad. The guitar work here is again very well done in the usual stoner rock tradition of slow-moving, down-tuned riffs with some more melodic stuff interspersed throughout the song. He Who Kills tries to pick up the pace a bit with some faster guitar work that sounds like it could have been inspired by some early power metal bands such as Helloween and Stormwitch. However, I felt like the drumming on this song was a bit too slow and held it back from being the headbanger it could have been with a faster tempo.

Unfortunately the vocal work on this album is lackluster for the most part. Vocalist James Rota has a decent voice but he doesn’t do a whole lot with it and I never feel a whole lot of emotion coming from him. He mostly just goes between clean singing and the somewhat rougher, shouted vocals. Another problem with this album is that it does get a bit repetitive at times. It’s not so much that the individual songs sound the same, it’s that the songs themselves get too long, simply repeating themselves over and over again (e.g. Flatline, Rollin On). I suppose if you're just putting this on as background music then that’s fine, but for those seeking a bit more depth you won't find much.

Overall what you've got here is a good collection of slow to mid-paced stoner metal songs that are all pretty catchy and enjoyable. I feel like it does suffer at times from a lack of variety, but these guys clearly aren't trying to reinvent the genre. This is a good album for those looking for something catchy and heavy to listen to, perhaps as background music, but lacks the passion and originality that some other bands in this genre have.

Killing Songs :
The Sinner, Daughter Of The Damned, He Who Kills
Khelek quoted 73 / 100
Adam quoted 79 / 100
Other albums by Fireball Ministry that we have reviewed:
Fireball Ministry - Fireball Ministry reviewed by Khelek and quoted 75 / 100
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