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Firewind - Days Of Defiance

Firewind
Days Of Defiance
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 09 October 2010, 5:10 PM

I never thought that FIREWIND could manage to release a new album taking into consideration the side projects that the band members are into. I mean Gus G. has been with Ozzy on the road (and does an excellent job), Papathanasio is the new SPIRITUAL BEGGARS singer and Katsionis works with OUTLOUD. Extending this way of thinking, I should add some doubts about the quality of this album that I had since it is often hard to do things simultaneously and be 100% focused at the same time. But all these question would receive a definite answer since the promo of the new FIREWIND album had just reached the METAL TEMPLE headquarters and I had been challenged to give it a spin.

The METALLICA influenced (Gus has done this before) clean guitar intro welcomes the heavy and fast "The Ark Of Lies". This track features different distortion in the rhythm guitars enhancing the heaviness as compared to previous FIREWIND works. Overall the track is not that different since the chorus lines have the typical melodic Heavy/Power Metal sound for the Greek band along with the always impressive vocals by Apollo. By paying additional attention to the break after the guitar solo I am dead sure I spotted some JUDAS PRIEST influences from the "Painkiller" days and this nothing but a good sign. The sound production follows the music's heavier attitude and to my delight the bass guitar has moved one step forward to the spotlight giving the album a real solid look. I even managed to discover some minor EXODUS finishing touches in the guitar leads during the middle break of "World On Fire" that could go more smooth if they had skipped the keyboard solo.

The keyboards handle the melodic part of FIREWIND's music and in songs like "Embrace The Sun" where the listener gets all the band's classic Metal qualities with the catchy grooves and the SCORPIONS influenced rhythms."Heading For The Dawn" is the weakest link of the album falling in the Euro Power Metal category using all the I know what is next" recipe without something to spice things up a bit. "Broken" is an 'old-school' power ballad with nice clean guitar work and 80s sounding keyboards keeping FIREWIND bonding with the old days solid as always. "Cold As Ice" is one of the album's highlights; there is a killer almost AOR guitar groove that will blow your mind leading to the catchy multiple vocal harmonies. I definitely want to get more tracks in this vein since I think FIREWIND are damn good at it!

The instrumental FIREWIND tracks are always a nice treat and in "SKG Gus and Katsionis do their magic in the guitars and keyboards, respectively creating a fast track with a hearty heavy tempo. I think it would cool if they did a full instrumental album following the Chastain recipe in the future. "Losing Faith" is another hit-to-be track with a good uplifting mood vibe from the keyboards and the reliable vocals from Apollo who once again presents his wide ranged vocals.

The verdict here is that FIREWIND have accomplished the task of getting a good album that according my taste lacks the energy and freshness "The Premonition" had two years ago. But, this is a toll the band had to deal with by squeezing an album release into such a busy schedule most of the band members had. I believe it would not harm anyone if this album had a release date 6 months later giving the band the chance to work a little more. Nevertheless, this is another FIREWIND album that can support the band's upcoming tour with a couple of setlist songs inside and will satisfy most of their fans.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. The Ark Of Lies
  2. World On Fire
  3. Chariot
  4. Embrace The Sun
  5. The Departure
  6. Heading For The Dawn
  7. Broken
  8. Cold As Ice
  9. Kill In The Name Of Love
  10. SKG
  11. Losing Faith
  12. The Yearning
  13. When All Is Said And Done
Lineup:
Apollo Papathanasio - Vocals
Gus G. - Guitars
Petros Christo - Bass
Bob Katsionis - Keyboards
Michael Ehrι - Drums
Record Label: Century Media Records
     


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