Faith Factor - 07/07/07 (Metallica Archangel/independent) 2007
1. "Prayer Warriors"
Faith Factor are a new metal band out of New Jersey featuring underground, cult metal favorite Ski, formerly of Deadly Blessing. Those familiar with Ski's last band should find plenty to like with Faith Factor. A bit of investigating on-line, I found several reviews that label Faith Factor as power metal. I would actually just describe them as good, old fashion, heavy metal. This reminds me of when Metal Blade was releasing great albums like "The Spectre Within" (Fates Warning) and "Burn to My Touch" (Liege Lord). Energetic, galloping, heavy metal with soaring, clean vocals. However, unlike many from those early days of heavy metal, Faith Factor's lyrics fall squarely in the Christian metal category. The EP starts off with the powerful "Prayer Warriors", a heavy, yet melodic, traditional metal number that would have fit in perfectly on one of those old Metal Massacre or Shrapnel's U.S. Metal releases. The next track is an emotional power ballad, although not in the sense of a stab at a radio hit, like the old pop metal bands. Rather, this is a song more in line with Judas Priest' "Dreamer Deceiver" or Queensryche's "Lady Wore Black", with a less dark tone. The last song is probably the best on the EP and has a slight NWOBHM vibe to it. This is heavy metal! Powerful and aggressive, yet uplifting. Now here's hoping for a full length album in the not to distant future. These three songs are strong, but only three songs isn't quite enough.
Faith Factor are a Christian metal band whose sound echos back to the early-to-mid 1980's metal scene. However, these guys are no Stryper. They are not teasing their hair, wearing spandex and playing pop metal. Rather, Faith Factor have a classic heavy metal sound that will appeal to true metal fans. Those who are just the right age will remember back to the early 1980's when heavy metal meant albums like Helstar - Remnants of War, Fates Warning - Spectre Within, Virgin Steele - Guardians Of The Flame and, of course, Deadly Blessing - Ascend from the Cauldron. This is exactly the sound you will get with Faith Factor. Galloping guitars, blazing solos, and soaring vocals complete with falsetto screams. Faith Factor vocalist Norm Ski Kiersznowski was formerly the vocalist of cult metal band Deadly Blessing.
I remember the first time I heard songs like "Queen or the Ryche" by Queensryche and "Iron Tears" by Flotsam & Jetsam? That same feeling came over me when I heard "Keep it True' by Faith Factor. This song, which offers a "hail to those who keep it true", is a romping, full-throttle salute to the forefathers of metal and those who keep the music alive today.
Guitarists Chris "Moe" Mausieski and Blaine Priest Booth prove to be an excellent tag-team guitar duo. Together they lay down a solid foundation of rhythm guitar that rides the fence between galloping, classic heavy metal and chunky, speed metal. They also crank out some flashy guitar pyrotechnics within each song as well, without overdoing it.
One thing that Faith Factor understands is that an album of songs that are all at the same tempo and off the same mood tends to get boring. Instead Faith Factor offer some faster, heavier songs, some chugging mid-paced metal songs such as "The Rapture" and even some more melodic numbers such as "In Remembrance". However, even the melodic numbers are of the classic metal variety. "In Remembrance" in particular reminds me of classic metal ballads like "Last Rose of Summer" or "The Lady Wore Black". Closing things out is Sinners Prayer, a spoken word piece in which a Christian message is clearly conveyed. Some may find this to be propaganda, but to me it tells me that this band is not only sincere about playing real metal, but they are also sincere in their faith.