"In The End" (Pure Steel; 2020)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

It seems odd to be telling you that "In The End" is Byfist's first ever full-length album release but, apparently, that's true. Although the band has been around since the mid-80s, they've only released singles, EPs and were featured on compilation album. It was just as odd to log onto the Byfist page here on to find that we've only got one review here, for the band's 2002 EP "Adrenaline," which I've been unable to find available anywhere.

That's all water under the bridge now because "The End" is has now been released and it's a metal fan's wet dream. Eight tracks of rollicking rock'n'roll with galloping Iron Maiden-esque rhythms, machine gun drums, crunchy guitars, fiery leads and a vocalist who sounds like a cross between Rob Halford and Udo Dirkschneider.

Starting with the metal call-to-arms anthem, "Universal Metal," and ending with the slower-paced (but ultimately fiery) "Scattered Wits," Byfist doesn't take a second to breathe, but instead runs through eight tracks of unapologetic metal, replete with all the usual (and beloved) metal clichés. (A best-selling author once told me that if original ideas were a dollar apiece and clichés were a dime a dozen, he'd take the clichés every time. And you know? Because--for the most part--they work!)

My favorite tracks were the title track, which plays like a cross between Iron Maiden and Metal Church; the 8.5 minute epic, "With This Needle I Thee Wed," with its Godzilla lumber; and "Ship of Illusions" with its nearly two minute build-up and crushing chords.

This may be Byfist's first full-length album release but it's not like this band are a bunch of newbies. They've been around for a long time and the experience shows. This is heavy metal at its purest.

Byfist: Raul Garcia - vocals; Nacho Vara - guitars, backing vocals; Ernie B - lead guitars, backing vocals; Stony Grantham - bass, backing vocals; Scott Palmer - drums, backing vocals.

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"Adrenaline" (Self-produced; 1999)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Byfist's EP, "Adrenaline," is a true metal band for those who appreciate the old-school sound and wish it hadn't ever gone the way of dinosaurs. "Adrenaline" packs a wallop in its four tracks. I felt like I was being transported back in time when I heard these four songs in their tight, true metal style.

The band has the '80s metal sound down pat. Nothing too fancy, nothing too simple. The dual guitar attack is pure metal and the rhythm section keeps a solid beat adding flourishes only when needed. And I'm not afraid to say that vocalist Danny Fonseca sounds like a classic true metal vocalist and hell, he even sounds a little David Mustaine in certain instances.

"Eternal Damnation" is a classic true metal rocker. Remember what I said about being transported back in time? When you hear this you'll know what I mean. "Meltdown" reminded me of Judas Priest - nothing more, nothing less. "Left To Die," with more of an early-era thrash sound sounded cool and had a Jag Panzer feel to it. And "Mary Celeste" had me recalling more Judas Priest sounding material - not that there's anything wrong with that.

"Adrenaline" didn't totally kick my ass, but it was a nice swift boot to my posterior. I'll be sure to throw "Adrenaline" in with a mix of my favorite '80s styled heavy metal when I'm feeling nostalgic.

Fans of Overlorde, Attacker, Lizzy Borden, Saxon, and Judas Priest will appreciate Byfist's style and approach.

"Adrenaline" was produced by David Wayne (ex-Metal Church).

Byfist is Danny Fonseca on vocals, Davey Lee on lead guitar, Notch Vara on guitars, Jay Wegener on bass, and Jess Vara on drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2020 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.