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Saffire: From Ashes to Fire

Saffire hail from Gothenburg, Sweden, and no, they don't practice all things melodic death metal as so many acts seem to from that region. The band also buck the Swedish trend of late to churn out '70s styled retro hard rock. From Ashes to Fire, their debut full length for Inner Wound Recordings, is actually a pretty enjoyable and solid slice of progressive metal and melodic hard rock. Lots of twisting guitar & keyboard exchanges for all the Dream Theater, Symphony X, and Rainbow lovers out there, and riffs just heavy enough for those who must have their metal element in their music.

Lead vocalist Tobbe Jansson sounds like a cross between Symphony X belter Russell Allen and Jorn Lande, so right off the bat the 'voice' of this band is a more than powerful one. Rounded out by Victor Olsson (Guitars), Dino Zuzic (Keyboards), Magnus Carlsson ( Bass), and Anton Roos ( Drums), Saffire deliver some tempting fare here, catchy at times, muscular enough in spots, and with plenty of progressive tendencies. Of the hook laden numbers, "Magnolia" really works, a memorable hard rock/prog-metal song with all the trimmings, while meatier numbers "Kingdom of the Blind", "End of the World", A Symphony Unheard", and " The Betrayer's Fate" contain plenty of high octane riffage and symphonic keyboard elements, complemented by Jansson's powerful, soaring roar.

The more progressive tracks are quite well done as well, such as "Say Goodbye" and "The Redemption", though some might say they are a bit derivative of the Symphony X/Dream Theater formula. Regardless of the lack of originality here, From Ashes to Fire succeeds on multiple levels; the songs are memorable, melodic, and contain fiery vocals & expert musicianship. Can't ask for more than that, and my guess is there will be plenty of new fans out there for the band after they have had a chance to sample this one.

Track Listing
1. Magnolia
2. Kingdom of the Blind
3. Freedom Call
4. End of the World
5. What If
6. A Symphony Unheard
7. Paralyzed
8. Modus Vivendi
9. The Betrayer's Fate
10. She Remains a Mystery
11. Say Goodbye
12. The Redemption
13. Stormy Waters

Added: May 25th 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2713
Language: english

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