Friday, October 29, 2010

Firewind's newest release is hot


So, for the past week or so, I've been immersed in the world of Firewind: a power metal band from Greece; who's guitarist and founder is Gus G (who also happens to be Ozzy Osbourne's current axe man; replacing long time resident Zakk Wylde.

So, on October 26th, they released their latest work, Days of Defiance; which is great timing for me getting into this band so I don't have to worry about reviewing something that everyone's already heard a billion times.

Days of Defiance

Firewind, it appears, has gone through a pretty hefty amount of lineup changes. The only real constants in the band are, of course, founder and only original band member Gus G and bassist Petros Christodoylidis who's been with Firewind since 2003. Apollo, their current singer, has been with the band for the past three albums and his singing has remained just as good as Allegiance and The Premonition.

Their current lineup is:

Gus G. (Guitar)
Apollo Papathanasio (Vocals)
Bob Katsionis (Keyboardist/Guitarist)
Petros Christodoylidis (Bass)
Michael Ehré (Drums)

Musically it's as strong as ever, on par with the quality they've been shelling out album to album, better than its predecessor even in some parts. What has changed for me with this album is the song writing. Instrumentally speaking - it rules, lyrically it's a little bit lazy. Maybe I'm just being a little anal about things, but the only real beef I've had with Days of Defiance is the middle tracks of the cd. Starting about "Broken", there was a running theme with the songs where the choruses were REALLY, REALLY repetitive. I hate to say such things because "Broken" is an amazingly beautiful song, but I can't help but nitpick. As the songs go on, and this patter continues, it gets more and more grating.

Here, for example. This is track 8, "Cold As Ice". Notice the repetitive lines in the chorus...

"I feel cold as ice, I'm hypnotized, always turn away
We are cold as ice, something something, something
I am cold as ice, something something something
We are cold as Ice, something, something, something...."

Obviously I didn't feel like transcribing all the words out, but you get the idea.. It goes on for a few songs, until it gets to the kick-ass instrumental, SKG. More artists today really aren't able to get down a great instrumental, Firewind doesn't have that problem.. SKG is an incredible, cohesive blending of all the artists where you don't hear them competing against each-other to have the best solo, instead they're working together like a well oiled machine to put out a solid track.

As I said before, it's a sweet album. The only thing that irritated me was the lack of ingenuity in the crafting of the choruses. It's definitely not enough to stop me from listening, and enjoying this cd repeatedly, though sometimes I find those choruses grating on me a bit. I think it would have come across a little better if these said songs were in different places on the album. I might have to throw this cd on Random and see what happens.. I'll let you know..

Otherwise, it's a great cd. Not as good as Allegiance, my very favourite Firewind cd, but it's good.

I'd give it a solid 7-8 out of 10.

If you don't want to take my word for it, you can check out this video, where singer Apollo and guitarist Gus G give a play by play of each track and some insight to the creation of this CD.. I've never really seen an artist do something like this before, which is a refreshing change. I think, sometimes, it's nice to hear the artists talk about their works, especially since not everyone can get to the concerts to (hopefully) hear them talk a bit about a song or two and what it's about.

Here's their newest video, for the song World on Fire. I don't know who that blonde chick is but she's seriously one of the hottest video vixens I've seen in a LONG time!!!! Holy hell! The video is standard, European Metal with the band on some fantastical themed world where armies or whatnot is forming together to either fight the band or fight for the band, who knows. The song is awesome regardless. And that chick, seriously.

Go check this album out for yourself!

Here's a link to their website!

Here's Days of Defiance on Amazon!

Here it is at Best Buy!

It's also, obviously on iTunes!

1 comment:

Rob Liz said...

Now that is what a review should be. Highlight the good points if any but also highlight the bad if any, with some good background on the artists for the unfamiliar. Good job.