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Bonfire - Double X (CD)

Bonfire
Double X
by Grigoris Chronis at 04 November 2006, 8:19 AM

The good thing about these splendid veteran German Hard rockers is that they have never released (or will, I hope) a 'bad' album. The 'not good' thing is that - leave behind the 1986-1991 days - seasons have now changed and it is rather unlikely for Double X to raise the interest of today's - at least - youth. Call it 'decadence' or what…
Who'd believe that Claus Lessmann and Hans Ziller would be comrades for nearly a quarter of a century? Even if things turned out to be rather different than perceived for this kind of hard rockin' music, soon after both the grunge 'fashion' - really, where are they now? - and the 'extreme' Metal evolution (needed, indeed…) exploded, Bonfire never departed from creating music. And, in addition, the memories of the overwhelming success of albums like Fireworks (1987) and Point Blank (1989) may still haunt our minds/souls but - to be precise - Bonfire never omit the ability of writing 'catchy' hooks supported by a metal-isque rhythm section; all these, featuring one of the most warm, passionate and kind 'throats' in Germany. Yes, little were we all able to learn for this (now) classic act in post-'mid 90s' but whoever's really interested did have the chance to - at least - hear notable albums like Fuel To The Flames (1999) or Strike Ten (2001). And the weird thing is that the flammable 'upgrading' of (as called) 'European Melodic Rock' owes a basic part of its entire existence solely to Bonfire and Clauss Lessmann (music and singing, meaning).
Double X tries to sum up elements form the band's entire discography. Thus, the 80s days - when Bonfire were 'promoted' as the most serious German 'threat' for American 'hair' Metal - are alive and kicking - watch out for Day 911, But We Still Rock and What's On your Mind? - while more 'modern-produced' Rock times, as also seen in the '90s' discography of the band, do make their appearance at tunes like Rap Is Crap! and Right Things Right. The 'ballads' part would not be missed, hence the sentiment of Blink Of An Eye and Hard To Say (Kiss-ing Hard Luck Woman) is nothing less than interesting. It is of special interest that - again - the songwriting (like it or not) stands on top level, extending to 'deep' thoughts on why Bonfire were never 'served' the pie slices they definitely deserved worldwide (not that they didn't gain enough success in the late 80s, to be honest).
Claus' voice kicks hard ass (one more time). This charismatic singer - apart from the fact that he bears a total 'positive energy' profile - seems to be bonded to good singing. Listen to his performance on Blink of An Eye, Day 911 and Right Things Right to draw your own conclusions. Personal lovers of his 'throat' will applaud with relief for his persistence in top-rate melody and quality. Not to forget, the rest of the band is in top form also - a general 'good mood' is present throughout the audition - and we should not step back and not notice the efficient experience of Hans Ziller as transformed into simple but 'full' soloing in all the album's tunes. The key-point to make all these visible? A thunderous production - 'copyright' by the Lessmann/Ziller duo - brings out the force, ready to conquer your Hi-Fi's speakers at first sight.
I have the impression that Bonfire will probably 'fail' in releasing boring albums, as long as Lessmann and Ziller carry on together. Double X did prove to be even better than expected, leading me to the easy summary of a great work. Bonfire devotees will find another memorable album, while fans that got a little bit 'let down' by the band's post-Knock Out (1991) days will show a 'respected' smile. Do not wait for a Point Blank series, but please expect for a strong bond between two eras in one album. Get it, please.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Day 911
But We Still Rock
Cry For Help
Bet Your Bottom Dollar
What's On Your Mind?
Blink Of An Eye
Rap Is Crap!
Notion Of Love
Right Things Right
Hard To Say
Wings To Fly
So What?
Blink Of An Eye (Extended)
Lineup:
Clauss Lessman - Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitars
Hans Ziller - Lead, Rhythm & Acoustic Guitars
Jurgen Bam Bam Weihler - Drums & Percussion
Uwe Kohler - Bass
Chris Yps Limburg - Guitars
Record Label: LZ Records
     


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