Rating:
N/A
Firewind - Days Of Defiance
25 October 2010


01. The Ark Of Lies
02. World On Fire
03. Chariot
04. Embrace The Sun
05. The Departure
06. Heading For The Dawn
07. Broken
08. Cold As Ice
09. Kill In The Name Of Love
10. SKG
11. Losing Faith
12. The Yearning
13. When All Is Said And Done
14. Riding On The Wind [iTunes bonus]
15. Wild Rose [Limited Edition bonus]
16. Ride To The Rainbow's End [Limited Edition bonus]
17. Breaking The Law [Judas Priest cover] [Limited Edition bonus]


Firewind guitarist Gus G has been making a name for himself on the international metal scene since 2002 when Firewind, as well as his former band Dream Evil, released debut albums. Though he left Dream Evil a few years later and has played as a guest musician with numerous other groups (including Arch Enemy, Nightrage, Sigh, etc.), Firewind has remained his primary band. The big news came over the summer of 2009 when Gus was chosen to replace Zakk Wylde alongside Ozzy Osbourne. Days of Defiance is Firewind's first album since their main man went over to the dark side to join Ozzy; let's take a look at it.

So, of course this album features some amazing guitar playing, but it's not just a vehicle for Gus G. to show off his skills. Firewind is a real band, and not a guitar hero with some obligatory side men. This shows in their ensemble work especially; the group has grown together over the last few albums, learning how to showcase each other's talents quite well. This is straight up solid power metal (no "flower" power metal here). Peppered with just enough catchy hooks and licks, don't let the keyboards fool you: this music is rooted in classic metal.

"The Ark of Lies" is an appropriate hard-hitting opener, followed by the catchy "World On Fire," where I feel the album really takes off. The next 11 songs take us up and down through tempo and mood changes as needed, all while keeping it consistent. Thirteen songs? Well, I never got bored. Maybe because the voice of Apollo Papathanasio is like icing on the cake of Firewind's strong instrumental base. He is not a generic power metal vocalist singing in the stratosphere all the time. Papathanasio brings a rich lower range into the fold, with at times an ever-so-slightly scratchy quality to his unique voice, which gives a nice raw mood to the songs.

As I mentioned, the players in Firewind have grown together performance-wise over the last few albums, but haven't grown or changed so much in regards to their songwriting. This is not a bad thing. You know what to expect from Firewind and don't have to worry that they'll go off in some new direction exploring fusion styles and "finding" themselves, releasing albums that sound nothing like their others. Quite the opposite! This band plays classic power metal and don't you forget it. Solid album after solid album of lively memorable music is recipe for happiness. Happiness? Maybe the wrong word choice. I said this isn't happy "flower" power metal and it isn't. Though highly energized, there is just enough darkness in some of the songs to bring everything into balance. The closing track "When All Is Said And Done" is a beautiful example of this balance.


Band profile: Firewind
Album: Days Of Defiance


 



Written on 23.11.2010 by
Susan
Susan appreciates quality metal regardless of genre. Metal Storm Staff since 2006.
More reviews by Susan ››



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Dark Blood - 23.11.2010 at 11:59  
Nice review Lyrinan. I haven't heard of the album yet (only World On Fire song) but judging by your words I bet it's a pretty solid Firewind album, no more no less. I mean, they've kept their balance in each album, in their own style.
Looking forward to this.
Kamil - 23.11.2010 at 13:15  
Unfortunately new Firewind stuff isn't as good, as last 2 albums.
Of course if you are looking for a summary of their previous works, DoD will undoutably be good album. But if you wanted something new from those guys, you will be dissapointed.

Quote:
not a guitar hero with some obligatory side men

This is something, what I am missing for on new stuff. This guitar hero mod was an essence of their previous albums.
Mark Cross on drums is also this, what I am missing for. New drummer isn't so good.
Luneth - 23.11.2010 at 13:43  
'flower power metal'

'real power metal'

Right...
CHEF METALHEAD - 23.11.2010 at 14:27  
Don't get me wrong, I do like Firewind but their earlier stuff. It seems they're gonig that top 40'ish way. I prefer Gus G. in Mystic Prophecy then Gus G. in Firewind or Ozzy. Also great review Lyrinan.....
Windiz - 23.11.2010 at 16:05  
If a pile of cheese was an album - this would be it.
enumaelis - 23.11.2010 at 16:55  
I prefer the previous one.
Holy Man - 24.11.2010 at 00:34  
I agree with Chef... Gus G was awesome in Dream Evil's Dragonslayer album, and I can totally dig Mystic Prophecy, but Firewind just doesn't blow my skirt up... nor does Ozzy...
Susan - 24.11.2010 at 00:43  
Yeah, his work on Dream Evil's Dragonslayer is nothing short of epic. And while I do like the cohesive "band" feeling of Firewind, sometimes I wish he'd show off just a BIT more... he's sure got the skills.
dismaleuphony - 25.11.2010 at 22:31  
Still haven't checked this one out, except for the video track of course. That was decent but didn't give me the push to hear it all. Seems like it's worth at least hearing it in its entirety to see how they have developed the band feeling you mention I have a feeling I'll always love their debut the most though, but we'll see!
RhaegarTargaryen - 02.12.2010 at 23:51  
Allegiance and Premonition rocked the hell, this one is solid, but nothin more, average.

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