Wildfire – “Summer Lightning” (1984)

Wildfire!  Another one of those precious gems that has been lost to the sands of time!  Wildfire was a NWOBHM band with the unfortunate predicament of being on the Mausoleum Records roster.  Mausoleum Records was a Belgian heavy metal label that didn’t have great distribution, and was probably ill-suited to market a commercially viable band such as Wildfire.  Wildfire belonged on a major label!  Summer Lightning was Wildfire’s second and final album.  Consisting of infectious metallic hard rock with enchanting vocals by one time Iron Maiden and More vocalist Paul Mario Day, Summer Lightning brings good tidings and hints of warm summer breezes, red skies at dusk, and a cold brewsky in your palm.  Day’s ability to craft great vocal melodies bordered on genius, and the four players behind him delivered with aplomb on cut after memorable cut.  If head banging metal is what you’re after, Summer Lightning is not for you.  Wildfire were all about the song, and were not particularly heavy.  Fans of The Michael Schenker Group, Vandenberg, or Highway Chile will certainly take interest in the great Wildfire.  It’s a tragedy that Summer Lightning (and Wildfire’s 1983 masterwork Brute Force And Ignorance) are virtually unknown by all but a handful.  It is bands and albums such as these to which this site is sincerely dedicated.  My score: A


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