Back in 2005, Living Fire began as a project without a fixed lineup other than Luis Carlos on vocals and bass as he just wanted to make music and record to have music to listen to..never realizing that the lyrics in English would ever have an impact due to his accent. In 2011, the cd was recorded with the opening track “Jesus is Not Dead” and a couple of covers leading to the band signing to Thumper Punk Records in 2012. A couple of videos later and a couple of years, saw the band release Dead to Sin in 2014. Since then the band has released a couple more cd’s, Eternal Now in 2016 and Every Saint has a Past, Every Sinner has a Future in 2017, which saw the band veer away from a hardcore sound and more toward a Blink-182-like sound. During recording of Eternal Now, founder Luis Carlos shifted to only vocals and the band brought on Raphael Alcantara to handle bass duties and as a result of this change, the band suddenly had more creative input to their sound.
In full disclosure, I did like the band’s early material which was a bit more like melodic old-school hardcore and I pretty much lost interest in their more recent releases as the change in sound just didn’t fit into what I like to listen to. With The Flame Still Burns, if it wasn’t for Luiz Carlos’ distinctive vocals and tone, I would have thought it was a different band. So much more aggression and heavy, fast guitars and drums on this release. While their last one was more like Blink-182, I would put this one more toward bands like Downset and dare I say some hints of Sepultura. “Eternal Love” opens innocently enough with some howling wind and a crying baby but then Luiz Carlos comes in with a rap-like delivery and chunky guitar and bass riff with some gang vocals thrown in for good measure until the song shifts into a more melodic chorus section filled with some nicely layered in guitar leads. I get all sorts of influences showing up here, early TFK, POD, and the great funky bass work by Raphael Alcantara really helps bring the song along. Great start to the album and I did go back and check to make sure I had the right album playing.