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Firewing - Resurrection Award winner

by Kevin Lewis at 29 March 2021, 10:26 AM

FIREWING is a brand new Symphonic/Epic/Progressive Metal band based in the United States, but with an international cast. Made up of some great musicians who have attended the Berklee College of Music, the band has some familiar names for me, but a few new as well. They also have an extensive list of guest musicians, again both familiar and not. Their debut album, "Resurrection," releases April 23, 2021 on Massacre Records.

In true Epic Metal form, there are five instrumentals on this record that all play an integral role in setting the mood and getting the feel of the tale moving in the right direction. There are 14 songs, so this album is not half instrumental. Instead, it has a good balance and the snippets of music allow for good transitions from one theme to the next. The record begins and ends on soundtrack quality songs that make you feel the story without saying a word.

Another key part of this being Epic Metal is the heroic tale told. This is a battle between good and evil. Fought in hearts and minds, our inner light is always fighting against our inner demons, represented by Ember and Vishap. Both are mythological creatures that evoke a sense of how ancient this battle really is. FIREWING tell their tale very eloquently.

After a quick prelude instrumental, “Obscure Minds” begins the tale. Musically, it has a chugging rhythm with a nice prominent bass line and rapid-fire drums at all the right times. Lyrically it starts the story by setting up the internal battle, the eternal fight between right and wrong.

Another instrumental shifts the tone here and leads into “Demons Of Society,” a slow burner of a song that has a more prominent guitar lead on the front end. This is a more melodic song. The orchestration comes forward a little more, giving it more ambiance and setting the tone to be gloomier in some parts. This is the song where we learn the evil is inside us all, which deserves the gloomy tones.

Far In Time” is a powerful song with a driving rhythm and soaring leads. It features clean and harsh vocals in counterparts, giving both sides of the internal battle voice. This is when the demons try to escape the heart and get out into the world through us. But fear not, every epic tale has a hero, and we are about to meet ours.

Another short instrumental now shifts us to the good side. “Resurrection" tells the tale of our light, represented by the phoenix, Ember. The tides are turning on the darkness and the music shifts as well. The tones are lighter, the orchestration lifts the mood, and the tempo drives forward towards glory. Again, the rhythm packs a punch, varying from driving to melodic and back, part of the progressive feel FIREWING shows throughout the record.

Next, “Time Machine” takes us on a sonic journey, urging us to find our light and push that out into world, praying our love is what goes forth. Starting with a nice slow tempo with no underlying rhythm, it quickly fires up and runs full tilt through the body of the song. There is a lot more of the progressive influence on this near eight-minute song. It also has that epic feel, letting you know this is an important part of the story.

Shifting again, a short instrumental leads us to “Eternity,” another Progressive/Epic style song. Running just over seven and a half minutes, it is the song where Satan comes forth and tries to influence the direction of our souls. Embodied as Vishap, another mythological creature, the tale turns to the dark side after this before reaching the conclusion. A faster tempo keeps you on your toes, waiting for the arrival of the beast.

We next have two songs that detail the fight that has been foretold throughout the first section of this tale. “Tales of Ember & Vishap: How Deep Is Your Heart?” and “Tales of Ember & Vishap: The Meaning Of Life” are the stories told about our inner struggles with good and evil, right and wrong. Across the two songs, the music shifts from ethereal and light to dark and twisted, highlighting how fierce the battle truly is, giving us hope, dashing it, then rebuilding it.

The story winds down with “Essence Of Your Heart,” a song that speaks of the victory of the spirit. Fast paced and dramatic, the song soars. The rhythm goes from subdued to frenetic, finally delivering us to the final instrumental, “Epilogue: Sacred Journey” where we get to rest and revel in the victory of light. Ember wins and life goes on, leading us on a path to glory and salvation.

FIREWING are newcomers to the symphonic/epic metal arena, btu do not think they are inexperienced and cannot hold their own. With Peter de Reyna on bass and Chris Dovas on drums, they bring in some heavy hitting talent. Both have also played in SEVEN SPIRES, one of the best symphonic bands of the past decade. Both meet my definition of virtuoso just for the sheer breadth and scope of their talents.

Airton Araujo proves his skill as a vocalist by covering the entire space between gritty low-end tones and soaring screams. His range is impressive. Caio Kehyayan can shred with the best of them, or just draw you in with some intimate little fills and subdued tones. Bruno Oliveira provides another layer with his guitars and put the finishing touches on the record by layering in some excellent orchestral pieces that really fill out the sound.

Overall, this is a really good album and does not feel like a debut. It sounds like these guys have been playing together for years. It is definitely an epic tale that takes us on a journey. The story is interesting and not just a retelling of someone else’s words. This is original and combines different mythologies to keep it novel and new. I will be listening to this record for years to come, throwing it in with some of my other favorites from this genre (EPICA, NIGHTWISH, SEVEN SPIRES). It deserves a place among those legends.

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  10
Memorability:  10
Production:  9

4 Star Rating

1. Prelude: Moonlight Of Despair
2. Obscure Minds
3. Chapter I: Acheron's Ritual
4. Demons Of Society
5. Far in Time
6. Chapter II: Temple Of Helios
7. Resurrection
8. Time Machine
9. Chapter III: Transcending Souls
10. Eternity
11. Tales of Ember & Vishap: How Deep Is Your Heart?
12. Tales of Ember & Vishap: The Meaning Of Life
13. The Essence Of Your Heart
14. Epilogue: Sacred Journey
Airton Araujo – Vocals
Peter de Reyna – Bass
Chris Dovas – Drums
Caio Kehyayan – Guitar
Bruno Oliveira – Guitar/Orchestration
Record Label: Massacre Records


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Edited 11 June 2023

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