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Aeraco: Baptized By Fire
Aeraco - Baptized By Fire CD Album Review

Aeraco: Baptized By Fire

Melodic Hard Rock/Heavy Metal

Aeraco may be one the best American hard and heavy rock bands you've never heard of. Unless, of course, you're from their native Chicago where, last year, they won the Chicago Music Awards' Best Rock Entertainer of the Year on the strength of their debut album, 2015's All Or Nothing and their high energy concerts. But they garnered some international acclaim as well like write ups in Fireworks magazine and airplay in the UK and Italy. Essentially a DIY band, Aeraco returns with their sophomore effort Baptized By Fire, with mastering by Grammy award winning engineer Brian Gardner.

Aeraco Band Photo


One spin of Baptized By Fire and you know the foundation of Aeraco's sound: classic, notably Eighties, melodic hard rock and heavy metal. Somebody's been digging through their father's vinyl collection. Their sound is melodic heavy metal with a significant hard rock groove, and then bundled in an AOR wrapper. All the important elements of the genre are here: twin guitar harmony and killer solos, clean, melodic, yet assertive vocals, and a bristling powerful rhythm section.

Songwriting is at a premium as well. The riffs are not only large and brisk, but offer the hooks to hang both melody and harmony. The vocal arrangements add more of the same. More hooks come with the cogent lyrics and the catchy refrains. The rhythm section's beat and groove allows you to both move your feet and bang your head. Feel free to do windmills as necessary. Also, being a guitar forward band, the solos are abundant and killer. Finally, the musicianship is not only expert, but this foursome are fearsome in their tight performance.

Honestly, it's the perfect storm for metal infused melodic hard rock. All these things are wrapped up in some great tunes, and there's a lot of them, 13 songs in one hour. Excepting a few songs, I liked everything I heard within Baptized By Fire. For things more on the metal side of hard rock The Outlaw, Baptized By Fire, Lone Wolf, and Metallica sounding Back With Vengeance are spot on tunes. There's something of a metal anthem in Withered Rose. While the hard rock groove is self-evident throughout, it rises more in Cum To Rock, In Vain, In Hell We Trust (with some more Metallica vibe), and the catchy hangover tune, Tequila And Lime. A ballad comes with All I Know, which I really didn't take to. The same could be said for Stab In Dim Light, which simply seemed composed of two things, heavy riffs and a thick bottom end. Which is to say, Baptized By Fire probably could have been trimmed of several songs and still have been a more tasty musical meal. But no worries. Aeraco is a dynamo of an American hard and heavy rock band and Baptized By Fire is a terrific album. Easily recommended. - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

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The Bottom Line

Aeraco is a dynamo of an American hard and heavy rock band and Baptized By Fire is a terrific album. Easily recommended.

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