Personnel: Capleton (vocals); Stephen Marley (vocals); Danny Axeman (guitar, keyboards); Nick Fantastic (guitar, drums); Louis "Farma Roots" Christie, Bernard Raymond, Matthew Bebe, Ian Coleman, Winston "Bo Peep" Bowen, Mitchum Chin (guitar); Phillip James, Steven Stewart, Lloyd Denton, Paul Henton (keyboards); Donald Basie (bass guitar); Stephen "Gibbo" Gibbs, Khabir "Kabs" Bonner, Carlton "Renegade X" Williams, Deleon Jubba White, Anthony "Bass" Hibbert, Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace, Stephen Gibbs, Willburn "Squidley" Cole, Melbourne Miller (drums); Uzaih "Sticky" Thomas, Bobby "Digital" Dixon, Bobby Dixon (percussion); Dalton Browne (guitar, percussion); Dean Fraser (saxophone, horns); Paul Crossdale (keyboards); Kirk Bennett (drums); Herman Davis, Sly Dunbar (percussion).
Audio Mixers: Collin "Bulbie" York; Arthur Simms; Khabir "Kabs" Bonner; Errol Thompson; Orville "Rory" Baker; Cegricia Hamilton; Bobby "Digital" Dixon; Rudy.
Recording information: 321 Strong Recording Studio; Anchor Recording Studio; Black Chiney Recording Studio; Black Scorpio Recording Studio; C-Lab; Digital B Recording Studio; Free Willy Recording Studio; Harry J Recording Studio; Joe Gibbs Recording Studio; Marley Music Studio; Mixing Lab Recording Studio; One Pop Recoding Studio; Tuff Gong Recording Studio.
Photographer: William Richards.
Offering a satisfying set of righteous reggae that is more laid-back than usual, Capleton once again combines roots grooves with the computerized sounds of the time on Reign of Fire. Known as "the Prophet" on his island home of Jamaica, Capleton pulls the music back here, but his lyrics are still rebellious darts, mostly directed toward the powers that be and the irresponsible. Warning of the cleansing fire, Capleton calls out the oppressors on "That Day Will Come" and eagerly awaits the day "the wicked men will have nowhere to run." It's a powerful track, matched in intensity by "Wise Up People," "Who Yuh Callin' Nigga," and the fantastic "Or Wah," which is just about the catchiest prophecy of fire and brimstone the man has ever released. "Real Hot" and "In Her Heart" -- which utilizes the slick and infectious "Chrome Riddim" -- give digital nods to current dancehall, but while other dancehall vocalists go for fast verbalizing, Capleton gets his aggression across through his writing. His soulful delivery also makes the lyrics easier to understand for non-islanders who will find his writing and stance closer to Tosh than Marley. With plenty of fully formed tracks by producer Bobby "Digital" Dixon, Reign of Fire ends up an excellent introduction to the singer. With its urgent lyrics and certain delivery, longtime fans will have little to complain about. ~ David Jeffries