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Fireleaf - Behind The Mask Award winner

Behind The Mask
by Garrett Davis at 17 March 2016, 1:45 PM

FIRELEAF is a new power metal band from Germany. Their premiere album, "Behind the Mask", released in February 2016, is a killer first album. The first song, with the appropriately brutal name "Bloody Tears", starts off strong with guitar riffs that scream Power Metal and had me banging my head to the beat within seconds. "Monsterman" has a creepy haunting tone that makes me think of ALICE COOPER and HELLOWEEN. Throughout the song "Faceless", you can hear some outstanding bass work by Micha Vetter, and it is reminds me of the always awesome Swedish Heavy/Power Metal band DREAM EVIL.

The song “Forgiven” slows the tempo down, bringing in a piano for some melodic metal with higher-pitched and haunting vocals like something from NIGHTWISH or IRON MAIDEN.  I hear the influence of JUDAS PRIEST or JAG PANZER in the song "Death Throes" with fast drumbeats and warbling vocals that remind me why I love metal so much!  "The Quest" has some sweet guitar work that makes it one of my favorite songs on the album. Anyone who loves to hear all the instruments working in harmony to pump each other up, will find a gem here. "Isolation" definitely highlights the vocals more than the instruments but is not as light or as heavy as the rest of the album.

"Tales of Terror" is another fantastic entry that rises and falls without every missing a step, screeching guitar work cementing it in my head with just a few play throughs of the song. The album starts to wind down with "King of Madness", reminding us that we all go a little bit mad sometimes. The final song on the album, the eponymous, "Behind the Mask", brings the album full circle with a distorted opening that sounds almost demonic, leading into a great drum solo that builds tension. The tone of the album rises and falls, one minute blending heavy metal into an almost operatic sound that power metal fans will be familiar with.

The lead singer, Bastian Rose, has impressive range and he knows how to use it. The best I can say is that he reminds me of Bruce Dickinson, with high-pitched wailing blending into deep powerful vocals. "Behind the Mask" is definitely a strong first outing that feels more like a collection of the best songs the band members have to offer, because FIRELEAF has the chops to pull off a wider-range of music than just classic Power Metal. And they know it! With a lot of clear influences from heavy-hitters such as IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, and JAG PANZER, these guys could have a long successful future ahead of them. I can't wait to hear more from FIRELEAF, so do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of "Behind the Mask" today.

Songwriting:  9
Originality:  8
Memorability: 10
Production:  8

4 Star Rating

1. Bloody Tears
2. Monsterman
3. Faceless
4. Forgiven
5. Death Throes
6. The Quest
7. Isolation
8. Tales of Terror
9. King of Madness
10. Behind the Mask
Micha Vetter – Bass
Ralf Stoney – Guitars
Aki Reissmann – Guitars
Vitali "Vital Roxx" Schogenow – Drums
Bastian Rose – Vocals
Record Label: Massacre Records


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