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Firewind - Forged By Fire (CD)

Firewind
Forged By Fire
by Makis Kirkos at 30 January 2005, 4:32 PM

Beware of the beast!!! Hellenic melodic Metal forces strike back and spread panic on their way. We are talking about Firewind ladies and gentlemen. Definitely one of the best Greek Metal acts of the scene that also certainly has one of the best Greek guitar players leading the way. With a new solid lineup and new record label to support them, I am sure these guys are on their way to the top.
I should probably start by introducing the band to those of you who are not familiar with them or at least introduce you the new members in case you didn't catch their names yet. Firewind is the brainchild and main band of young guitar virtuoso Gus G. (ex- Dream Evil, Nightrage, Mystic Prophecy). Completing the current (and hopefully permanent) lineup we find the stunning, Sri Lanka native vocalist Chity Somapala (ex-Avalon, Faro, Moonlight Agony), who replaced original vocalist Stephen Fredrick last year, joined by bassist Petros Christo (ex-Breaking Silence), drummer Stian Kristoffersen (Pagan's Mind, Jorn Lande) and keyboardist  Bob Katsionis (Nightfall, Imaginery). A quite strong lineup as proven at their 2004 tour in Japan were they headlined with Rob Rock as their support.
Now, let's focus on the juice… Forged by Fire is their third and best (in my opinion) release to date and marks their Century Media Records debut recording after their previous albums. It seems that all these changes last year ascribed to the maximum to the new Firewind album, as it is just outstanding. I was wondering how Chity would sound as I already knew his vocal lines are more rough, melodic and straight-into-the-face than Stephens' and I am glad to say that this guy fits in perfectly! He just drives Firewind to a new level. Imagine a mix of Dio and  Klaus Meine (Scorpions singer) at their very best and you got an idea about how this guy sings. Although I guess he can't reach Stephens' high notes, I am sure he will surprise us by just trying or even better applying his own vocal lines and converting the older tunes to sound more fresh.
Forged By Fire is here to bring a huge impact on the international melodic Metal scene. Although Between Heaven And Hell (2002) and Burning Earth (2003) were highly acclaimed by the Metal world, I am sure their latest release will establish them as one of the best groups nowadays. To record Forged by Fire, the band utilized three different studios (in Greece, Germany and Norway) and finally mixed the album at famous Studio Fredman in Sweden with Gus' former Dream Evil bandmate Fredrik Nordstrom as well as Patrik J. Sten (the guy who produced Nightrage's latest album), as technicians. Credits should go to Gus G. as he did the production and to use his own words Although I'm not a producer or anything like that, I just felt that I knew how to do this myself this time. Firewind is my creation, and I've had experience with other producers in the past, so I used all I've learned in this album.
Musically speaking, the new album can be best described as melodic Power Metal. Although I would just call it pure heavy-fuckin'-metal. What we got here is a combination of the Power Metal oriented Between Heaven And Hell (2002) together with the darker and heavier Burning Earth (2003). Forged by Fire contains the best elements of those two albums with a wider variety and more Hard Rock references. The rhythm section never sounded so tight before, having Petros and Stian in a really good mood. Bob sounds like he had already been playing for several years with Firewind and his keyboard melodies adjust the whole album's result to a brilliant outcome. I already told you about Chity and I guess I don't have to describe Gus' playing. The guy has already been voted among the best guitarists in the world at Burrn! magazine and has been 5 times on the cover of Young Guitar magazine, not to mention his launching his own signature guitar models through ESP.
Outstanding songs like the crushing opening track Kill To Live, the super catchy Tyranny(the band's first video clip for this album, featured on the finished CD as a bonus enhancement), the up-beat The Forgotten Memory (featuring a guest-lead by James Murphy), the astonishing instrumental Feast Of The Savages (highlighted by a guest-lead from former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman - All hail!) are all very good examples of the strong abilities and diversity displayed by Firewind. Hateworld Hero, Escape From Tomorrow and Burn In Hell are included in the album's highlights as well as Perished In Flames that shows Petros' bass guitar work. I have to mention that Bob's solos in Feast Of The Savages were a kind of 'fight' against Gus and Marty's guitar solos. By the way… have you ever heard of Japanese music scales formed in Metal tunes? If not, pay attention to Marty's solo and you will be surprised.
Concluding let me say that Forged By Fire is just amazing. The strongest Firewind offering to all the Metal fans around the world to date. I have to congratulate Gus G. and the rest of the clan for releasing one the best albums for the year of 2005. Firewind start their promotion tour in a couple of months and I can't wait to get stuck in the front row and headbang with their tunes. It is well known that the energy and vibe this band has on stage is mind-blowing!! After all, like Gus G. said Firewind's target is to be a live band. You listen to me; buy Forged by Fire and you will NOT regret it. Beware of the BEAST!!!.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Kill To Live
Beware The Beast
Tyranny
The Forgotten Memory
Hateworld Hero
Escape From Tomorrow
Feast Of The Savages
Burn In Hell
Perished In Flames
Land Of Eternity
Lineup:
Chity Somapala - Vocals
Gus G. - Guitars
Bob Katsionis - Keyboards
Petros Christo - Bass
Stian Kristoffersen - Drums
Record Label: Century Media Records
     


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