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  • Writer's pictureSasha Davies

Revolution Engine Presents Fiery New Album 'Fist and Flame'

If ever there was a song that simply cries out for a more screamo version, it’s U2’s “Bullet The Blue Sky.” Bono is a great singer, don’t get me wrong, but he’s more silky smooth than sandpaper scratchy.

Revolution Engine adds plenty of grit to the song, though, on the album Fist and Flame. In fact, there’s a whole lot of noisy rock and roll on this consistently passionate album.

While groups like P.O.D. and Rage Against The Machine influenced much of the sound on this release, one called “Burn Unit” differentiates the group from these influences by incorporating spoken word verses, which are followed by a sung chorus. The song is included twice. Once as a hard rocking song, and again at the album’s end in an acoustic variation. The latter take is also the longest (at 4:05) of the two. It’s not entirely clear what “Burn Unit” is about, but it concludes with the line, “It was Christ/He was the architect of my fire.” This gives the recording a distinctly spiritual connotation.

Although you might expect a band this socially active to be from an urban area in the United States, the group is actually from Alberta, Canada. The band has filled its album with plenty of protest music. One

especially anti-war song is titled “War Child,” which speaks to the damage military conflicts inflict upon children. “Lower Your Weapons” also features anti-war sentiments. The latter track’s guitar solo sounds

to be straight out of the Tom Morello school of lead guitar soloing (which is not at all a bad thing).

This band is not one to only protest and complain, though. One titled “Dying To Live,” which also features fast-talked spoken word parts, admonishes “You want a change? /Then be that change.” This may be based upon a cliché, yet it nevertheless rings true. We need to be the change we want to see. With the advent of the internet and social media, our planet has turned into a world of complainers. Everybody gets on web pages, like Facebook, and weighs in with their gripes. And yes, there is a place for that. However, Revolution Engine wants listeners to put their money where their mouth is, so to speak, and actually do something about the wrongs they see.

Rage Against The Machine (one of the templates for what Revolution Engine does) has been relatively quiet of late. We need loud protest music, the sort RATM perfected. Therefore, the time is right for a new voice, like Revolution Engine. Yes, you will appreciate what Revolution Engine does if you’re already a Rage fan. However, this act is by no means a copycat. Instead, this group has its own unique spin on soulful rock & roll. Fist and Flame is an extremely good album. Everything on it is fresh and inspiring. Revolution Engine has mastered the art of creating rock music that matches the fire of the best protest rap music. This is an album that will kick you in the butt, in the best possible way, so if you need something to knock you out of your lethargy, put this album on and let it do its work.

-Dan MacIntosh

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