Power metal crusaders can rest at ease knowing guitar whiz extraordinaire Gus G. isn't sitting on his ass despite the high-profile gig with a certain Ozzy Osbourne. Mere months after Gus debuted on the Ozzman's tenth album Scream, he's at it again with his main band for a 45 minute romp across lots of familiar territory.
That's the sad thing about Days of Defiance, being another solid offering from the pan-European band loaded with melody and pure catchyness, after the initial onslaught of a few solid tunes the novelty wears thin and you're bored. Sure, between Gus G. and Appolo Papanathanasio (MS Word spell check is having a field day with this surname) is much visionary songwriting. Firewind are practically geniuses when it comes to hooks, awesome choruses, and the essential ingredients that are the very essence of their genre. Unfortunately the very essence of power metal is cheese and an infantile sense of cinematic wonder. In other words, the lyrical cheddar the band are still peddling gets quite moldy as the album progresses.
Despite these weaknesses, Firewind have the good manners to kick you right in the nuts for opening salvo The Ark of Lies. There's a bit of acoustics at the intro but this quickly gives way for a serious aural spanking. The song is pure thunder and majesty, crackling with righteous fury until the brain-melting finale. Being seasoned professionals, Firewind don't stumble come the second track as they deliver with guns blazing for lead single Set The World On Fire. It might be a tired cliché for now (does the world need to be set on fire? Really?) yet the sheer exuberance of the quintet elevate the song to the starry heavens.
As power metal albums go, there's a ballad here titled Broken (yawn), a straight forward melodic rocker (Cold As Ice), the cruddy speed metal dirge Heading For The Dawn (like, yuck), and a handful of excellent pop hits. In the end, Firewind have unleashed another fine album that's on the wrong side of forgettable and leaves a bland aftertaste. Expect to be rid of this once another masterpiece joins your playlist.
On Days of Defiance, Firewind have unleashed another fine album that's on the wrong side of forgettable and leaves a bland aftertaste. Expect to be rid of this once another masterpiece joins your playlist.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]