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Blackguard – Firefight (CD)

Blackguard
Firefight
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 25 February 2011, 3:02 PM

Some things never seem to change. On more than several occasions I found it rather pleasing, especially in Metal. However, I still think that in order to breach a certain blockage, a band should try to exploit their talents even further in order to built something that more than just another release. When I came across BLACKGUARD's (Ex-PROFUGUS MORTIS) new album, "Firefight", I kind of got that same notion once again.

One of BLACKGUARD's power points is that they sounded to me like a gruesome mix of CHILDREN OF BODOM, NORTHER, WINTERSUN and early DARK TRANQULIITY and IN FLAMES (what can I do, where there is melodic Death Metal effort, those two latter bands aren't far behind). So in the end we have a here an assorted group that maintains its Folk approach with symphonic means to the side of modern extreme and Power Metal.

The material of "Firefight" is fast driven, the type of theme is well known and it seems that there is not concept standing in the shadows. However a concept is not needed when you have tracks as "Firefight", "The Fear Of All Flesh", "The Path" and "Wastelands". No doubt about it, this band prepared a widespread attack of intense melodies and a collection of classic oriented solos provided by both guitars and keyboards. Although I would have personally settled on more guitars and less keys, the balance between the instruments is reasonable.

With the swarming of guitars and keys, there are other aspects to pay attention to such as the great display of vocal talent by Paul Ablaze. Nevertheless, I can say that I heard lots of vocalists in his calibre and diversity between high-powered growls and low-end barks. Moreover, in order to stay on the Folk course, there were a few nice adjustments to make this melodic Death album to sound like a Folk Metal album.


This release shows a wondrous performance by this five piece Canadian warriors and it is evident that they don't lack talent, yet in the end, "Firefight", for me, runs under the category of "just another album of the sub-genre". In overall, I liked what BLACKGUARD did here, yet, there was more than enough that I already heard. Besides, let's say that not every track is attractive, yet, the potential is there. Nevertheless, it is good to have such albums as "Firefight" because those mean that the band is starting something in a direction that is pleasing and I hope that this will serve as a symbol for a better future.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Tephra
2. Firefight
3. Farewell
4. Wastelands
5. Cruel Hands
6. Iblis
7. The Fear Of All Flesh
8. A Blinding Light
9. The Path
10. Sarissas
Lineup:
Paul "Paul Ablaze" Zinay - Vocals
Terry "Roadcase" Deschenes - Guitars
Kim Gosselin - Guitars
Etienne Mailloux - Bass
Justine Ethier - Drums
Record Label: Victory Records
     


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