Firewind – Firewind

Firewind – Firewind
AFM Records
Release Date: 15/05/2020
Running time: 47:27
Review by Alun Jones
7.5/10

We all make mistakes. Some of us blunder all the time, and the consequence of those slip-ups can be catastrophic. And some of us don’t like to admit when we’re wrong.

Confession time: I volunteered to review this Firewind album because I got them mixed up with another band with “fire” in the name (or possibly a couple). I was slightly mortified when I realised that this band weren’t what I was expecting: none of the sludgy comfort blanket that I usually wrap my ears in.

(I did wonder why Alun picked this but as Firewind are superb and contain a bona fide guitar god in Gus G then I decided not to mention it – Rick-Ed)

Firewind are – Zeus help me – a melodic, power metal band. Not a corner of metal that I’m particularly well versed in, or a fan of. I fucking hate Helloween, for a start. And Queensrÿche. And fucking Europe. This was going to be a challenge.

Yet your old pal Al is nothing if not a trooper. They’re (partially) Greek, which intrigued me being a huge fan of the country. I plunged into this assignment with an open mind – and do you know what? This isn’t bad at all. In fact, I quite enjoyed it.

Opening track ‘Welcome To The Empire’ begins with some fine acoustic guitar before erupting into a big, bombastic rock monster. It is, like most of the album, totally over the top – but also loads of fist pumping fun. This ain’t pop music. It’s fast and powerful (see ‘Devour’), and while not quite as brutal as my usual preferences, packs a mighty wallop.

The musicianship is exemplary. Guitar genius Gus G has plenty of flair, but can throw out some crushing, crunchy riffs when required: ‘Rising Fire’ and ‘Space Cowboy’ being  two great examples. Fast, flashy solos ain’t my scene, but there’s plenty of chugging metal to keep me interested.

The rhythm section – Petros Christo (bass) and Jo Nunez (drums) go beyond textbook and play excellently throughout the album. Give ‘Orbitual Sunrise’ and ‘Overdrive’ a go for evidence…

Vocals provided by new singer Herbie Langhans are dramatic, in a typically Teutonic fashion. This guy is straight out of a Wagnerian epic; despite being somewhat more operatic than I’m used to, he can certainly belt it out. On every single song.

Sorry to disappoint any readers who thought they might actually read a less than positive review from yours truly. Firewind isn’t my usual cup of absinthe with opium chaser, but I found it very easy to appreciate. This album is well played, well written, well produced and delivered with some love and pride – all of which manages to steer this album away from trite cliché.

Metal wearing its heart on its sleeve and with a refreshing honesty, I just couldn’t bring myself to hate Firewind. If I can dig it, then fans of this genre will love it.

(Rick again! Alun gets bonus points for actually really liking this, after all, it is a great album but I’m going to have to talk to him about his dislike of Helloween and Queensrÿche…tut tut Mr. Jones) 😊

TRACKLISTING:
01. Welcome To The Empire
02. Devour
03. Rising Fire
04. Break Away
05. Orbitual Sunrise
06. Longing To Know You
07. Perfect Stranger
08. Overdrive
09. All My Life
10. Space Cowboy
11. Kill The Pain

LINE-UP:
Gus G – Guitar
Herbie Langhans – Vocals
Petro Christo – Bass
Jo Nunez – Drums

LINKS:
www.firewind.gr/
www.facebook.com/firewindofficial
www.twitter.com/firewindmusic
www.instagram.com/firewindofficial/
www.youtube.com/firetv
www.afm-records.de/en/

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.