Firewind - Days Of Defiance review
|Album:||Days Of Defiance|
|Release date:||October 2010|
01. The Ark Of Lies
02. World On Fire
04. Embrace The Sun
05. The Departure
06. Heading For The Dawn
08. Cold As Ice
09. Kill In The Name Of Love
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.
Written on 23.11.2010 by
Susan appreciates quality metal regardless of sub-genre. Metal Storm Staff since 2006.
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