Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Prior To The Fire will set the Canadians aside from their peers.
  2. It's melodic and Malevolent, a relentlessly good disc with an A.D.D. sufferer's list of pop-cultural obsessions ranging from Robocop to werewolves to Judas Priest. [May/Jun 2010, p.100]
  3. Their combination of crunching riffs, hard-driving rhythms, and howling vocals isn't exactly unique, but their spin on the sound, which adds some touches of classic, early-'80s pre-glam metal to the usual blend of Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, et. al, has a lot of appeal.
  4. Montreal's Preistess are more holy smokers than divers, to the point where this engrossing second album recalls the potent psych-rock of the early-'90s-era. [Apr 2010, p.106]
  5. 80
    After 2006's acclaimed debut, Hello Master, this Montreal metal foursome had to cut through a mass of red tape before Fire, their long-gestating follow-up, could get a U.S. release date. Someone should be fired for the delay, because this baby burns.
  6. Overall, it's a palatable mix of retro-leaning metal that's suitable for headbanging or playing air-guitar but doesn't cover much new ground.
  7. On its sophomore album, Priestess pulls no punches and delivers all blows in menacing fashion, borrowing heavily from the gods of metal's yesteryear.
  8. The riff-roaring arena anthems "Racon Eyes" and "The Firebird" are among the most infectious tracks Priestess have ever written. Elsewhere, the band's retro-fuzz machinations don't fare so well. [Mar 2010, p.98]
  9. The album has no grand arc; it's just a collection of pretty okay jams for people who already own everything Pentagram ever recorded. It's fine, but it's nothing more than fine.
  10. On the new record, much to our surprise, the majority of the vocal lines sound half-baked at best, and with the odd exception, not for a second memorable.
  11. While the definable hooks are definitely more present than on most metal records, that doesn't necessarily make a better, or even more accessible album.
  12. Long on tweedly solos, rambling structures, and songs about being trapped in space and time, Prior to the Fire--love the title, dudes, despite my disappointment--is sure to satisfy hardcore stoner-metal devotees with no fear of the occasional eight-minute track length. Everybody else should seek out "Hello Master."

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