From AC/DC to Winger, you can tell a lot about a band by how (and how often) a singer pronounces the word "fire." As Mo Rage's Fix of Rage opens, Tony Webster says it as soon as he gets the chance, belching it out as "FI-YAH," equal accent on both syllables, 1986-style. That's right, Cleveland: Power metal isn't back; it never left.
Aside from the burly intonation of flame, Webster's vocals are largely confined to the high end -- not piercing enough to shatter glass, but he gives it all he has. Guitarist Roger Ash plays like a refugee from Breaker, flashing all the old-school moves: He grinds. He riffs. He shreds. Webster wails, turning the pages of conceptual sci-fi/fantasy tales. In album opener "The Storm," he swoons like a Valkyrie: "I am the savior of the universe/Pushing back the enemy." Blinded by extraterrestrial aggression, he's failed to see his band's true enemy -- the uncredited keyboardist.