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Bonfire: Live On Holy Ground - Wacken 2018 

The current line-up 0f Bonfire, Hans Ziller - lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals; Alexx Stahl - lead vocals; Ronnie Parkes - bass, backing vocals; Frank Pané- lead, rhythm guitar, backing vocals and André Hilgers - drums and percussion filmed & recorded live at Wacken Open Air on August 4th, 2018 with mixing and mastering by Tom Müller at Flatliner Studios and the band's Hans Ziller handled production. Additional musicians included Tim Breideband and Harry Reischmann on drums although I'm not sure how that worked given that the DVD portion of the set was not included for review. Paul Morris, Fredrik Bergh and Alessandro DelVecchio added keyboards whilst Mike Gerhold contributed backing vocals. All these people came together to make Live On Holy Ground - Wacken 2018 which basically takes a trip through the band's best tunes like any good live document should.

In many ways Bonfire are a much loved band. They are very popular on mainland Europe and here in the UK there's an excellent magazine named after one of their songs Fireworks. I quite like Euro metal and I quite like Bonfire but quite a lot of their material leaves me a bit cold. Don't Touch the Light for instance, I could happily never hear again but American Nights which comes up next thrills me no end and might have been bopping around my brain for the last few weeks. Quite irritating at 0400 to be quite honest. I even drum along! Tragically momentum is killed by the dreary Give It a Try. Let's not, much as the guitars in the middle of the song are quite nice. It's this middle section of the album which sums up Bonfire for me with Sword and Stone being pretty good and Alexx Stahl in particular impresses but there's three songs in a row of variable quality and therein lies one of the no doubt myriad reasons why the band remains a draw in some markets but not others.

The bonus tracks are definitely for completists only. Does anyone really need another classic rock version of "Locomotive Breath"? No. I thought not. If you like Bonfire you have already bought this. If you don't this album can be damned with the faint praise of being entirely adequate.

Track Listing:
  1. In the Beginning
  2. Ready 4 Reaction
  3. Never Mind
  4. Don't Touch the Light
  5. American Nights
  6. Give It a Try
  7. Sword and Stone
  8. Sdi
  9. Sweet Obsession
  10. Champion
  11. Praying 4 a Miracle
  12. Locomotive Breath
  13. American Nights
  14. Sweet Obsession

Added: June 25th 2019
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 333
Language: english

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