Firewind began as more of a showcase than a band. After dropping out of musical college in the USA, the young Greek guitarist Gus G. recorded a full-length demo with the help of friends to display his guitar skills to potential labels. Despite not being seen as a real band, he liked the name Firewind and it was used to market the demo, called Nocturnal Symphony.
The band are currently signed to Century Media Records, have released seven studio albums and been met with international success.
It’s been about five years since Greek melodic power metallers Firewind released their critically acclaimed seventh album Few Against Many (2012), but in the meantime, the band and its individual members have all been extremely busy with various activities. Main man and guitarist Gus G. has released not one but two solo albums, toured worldwide in support of both of them and hit the road once again with Ozzy. Firewind was always going to return… strong and blasting on all cylinders!
So we blast off with “Hands Of Time” containing some awesome riffs, the thunderous vocals of Henning Basse and a magnificent solo. A great opener which would be a perfect live set opener to get the crowd fired up. Next up is “We Defy” which has a heavier guitar sound backed up with Johan Nunez‘s awesome drum work. Again some amazing guitar work featured here. A real European feel to this catchy number.
“Ode To Leonidas” starts with a lovely guitar intro and has a lovely effect on the vocals to start. It then blasts into another classic with great musicianship and some stellar keyboard work from Bob Katsionis. “Back On The Throne” continues with another awesome metal anthem featuring some great harmonies. Another great rockin’ number but would you expect any less?
“Live And Die By The Sword” again has a lovely intro which turns into another frenzied metal attack. Without letting up at all, we move onto “Wars Of Ages”. Featuring a beautiful meaty riff running through, it is a great power metal tune.
“Lady Of 1000 Sorrows” is a lovely ballad. The truly amazing vocals turn into a great piece of music feeling not out of place at all on this rocker of an album. “Immortals” is next and is a lovely instrumental. You know it’s got some wailing guitar work.
“Warriors And Saints” again is an assault on the ear drums with that amazing, chugging guitar work. As is the brutal “Rise From The Ashes”, another instant classic from this highly talented band.
We finish with the bonus track “Vision of Tomorrow” continuing in the same vain as the rest of this truly great record.
To sum this record up, if you like power metal it’s the most brutal heavy power metal album ever. It does touch on the genre but is much more a heavy metal album to my old ears, you will love it if you like Gus G. A must have!
Mark 10 out of 10
Colin “Starchild” Francis