Fire. Wind. Two major elements and forces of nature. Throw in a connection to the birthplace of Ancient myths, legend and history and you know you are in for a treat. As mighty as the Gods atop Mount Olympus, FIREWIND are back with their new self-titled album.
This year marks twenty two years of the band have being together and show no signs of slowing down. FIREWIND are led ever onwards by guitar maestro Gus G (who has also been the guitarist for Prince of Darkness Ozzy Osbourne and Swedish legends ARCH ENEMY) and features eleven blistering tracks of Power Metal brilliance. Strap yourself in and take a ride into legend.
Album opener Welcome to the Empire hits the ground running. A beautiful weeping guitar introduction showcases that the new line-up will rise and conquer. This has the classic FIREWIND feel about it. It’s a wonderful way to introduce new vocalist Herbie Langhams (who has worked with AVANTASIA and SEVENTH AVENUE amidst others).
Devour is hands down my favourite track on the album. It grips you from the offset and is an instant classic that needs to be heard by everyone. Gus G is totally on form and shows no sign of slowing down for the duration of the album.
Rising Fire is a fist pounding sing-along anthem from the start. “I’ve got to find a way, I live to see the day, no one is going to stop me now” this is one track that will go down with both fans old and new.
Break Away is melodic and powerful. It keeps its roots with earlier styles of the genre but has elements of how the band has developed its style for the current age of heavy metal.
Orbitual Sunrise instantly generates the classic rock vibe with a choral element not entirely distant from a MAGNUM or SCORPIONS track. “if you can look at the Earth just like me, then we will all feel the sorrow”
Longing To Know You slows down the pace with the classical/acoustic guitar intro and is a beautiful soft-rock styled ballad with touches of string sections. “I will not miss anything, on the day that we meet. All these stars shine for you, sending out my love.” This really is fitting considering the current global situations and generates how much we all desire to see our loved ones again.
Perfect Strangers turns it straight back up to eleven after the last track. An outright headbanger of a track with heavy breakdowns and a sensational guitar solo.
Overdrive takes me back to the glory years of DIO, with heavily centred keyboards and ultimate sing along opportunities. “We want it, we need it, no regrets at all. There’s fire in your eyes!”
All My Life sheds positivity, and makes you feel good about yourself and inspires oneself “dream your day away, ‘cause I can say nothings out of reach.”
Space Cowboy is told from the perspective of a lone traveller out in the cosmos riding the galactic highways and loving every aspect of it. Science-Fiction and metal always fuses well together and this track is no exception.
Kill The Pain features a thunderous drum intro that threatens to bring the house down. This track hits you hard as an album closure, it is a full frontal attack on the senses and shatters the mould that the band have previously utilised. The solos on this track are outstanding and Gus G blows you away into the wind ready to start the album all over again.
This album certainly delivers and in my eyes is candidate for album of the year. A blend of classic heavy metal and modern-age power metal that every fan of the genre needs to bear witness to. FIREWIND have yet again created a masterpiece.
After first seeing them live back in December 2006 in Manchester with DRAGONFORCE I have been caught in the metal maelstrom that is FIREWIND and suffice to say this fire will continue to burn bright indefinitely.
Words: Martin White
Firewind will be unleashed this Friday.
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