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Firewind: Firewind

Back with their 9th album is former Ozzy Osbourne Guitar Player alumni, Gus G and his band Firewind. This self-titled new release is the band’s first in 3 years and Firewind are back with yet another new Singer, Herbie Langhans, of Avantasia and Seventh Avenue notoriety. The updated Firewind delivers the guitar riffs, hooks, melody and great guitar solos that the band has become synonyms with and doesn’t miss a beat.

Firewind the album, is an 11 track effort that finds Gus G is excellent form and the band delivering a great mixture of Melodic Metal. Songs like “Welcome To The Empire” are of typical Firewind fare, but the tune, “Overdrive” is a nice slice of modern Black Sabbath styled riffage. “Space Cowboy” is easily a Radio friendly tune and contains a hook laden chorus that easily gets stuck in your head and “Kill The Pain” is a Power Metal classic that just rumbles along like a Freight Train out of control.

Gus G is no longer the Wonderkid that hit the Metal scene almost 20 years ago, he is now the grizzled Veteran and that maturity and experience have rounded him into the excellent player and Metal music writer that he has become. Melodic, heavy and even catchy, that is what you have here in the new self-titled Firewind record. If you are already a Firewind fan, you won’t be disappointed, as Gus gives you what you expect from him. For new fans of Gus & Firewind, this is perfect place to start with their discography, it contains a little of everything that makes up Firewind’s brand of Metal. This a solid Metal release for 2020.

Gus G. (guitars)
Herbie Langhans (vocals)
Petros Christo (bass)
Jo Nunez (drums)

Track Listing
1 - Welcome To The Empire
2 - Devour
3 - Rising Fire
4 - Break Away
5 - Orbitual Sunrise
6 - Longing To Know You
7 - Perfect Stranger
8 - Overdrive
9 - All My Life
10 - Space Cowboy
11 - Kill The Pain

Added: May 25th 2020
Reviewer: Butch Jones
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1230
Language: english

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Firewind: Firewind
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2020-05-25 15:17:53
My Score:

The third album from Gus G’s Firewind since his shock sojourn with Ozzy Osbourne finds a band openly hitting ‘reset’. Gone are the keyboards/rhythm guitars from Bob Katsionis - an ever present feature since third album Forged By Fire - as Gus slims his band down to a four-piece. And gone too is the slightly more refined sound that characterised more recent albums.

In comes new singer Herbie Langhans, a man who is already known for his time in Seventh Avenue and one of many singers in Avantasia. That introduction also seems to herald in a straight ahead, can you keep up, attack of the riff-totting variety, with G sounding reinvigorated - a guitarist genuinely excited to be letting himself loose once more.

“Rising Fire” may well be the most obvious exponent of this new yet old approach, fret excursions dropped on us from great height as the Biff Byford (Saxon) meets Klaus Dirks (Mob Rules) authority from Langhans hammers everything into a place. A torrent of Euro-Power Metal riffs doesn’t exactly hurt either of course and it has to be said that G can provide them at every turn. Although when you consider that he was revelling in this sound as far back as 1998, then in many ways he helped create the beast that now dominates many a festival across Europe.

Still completed by long-term bassist Petros Christodoulidis and drummer Johan Nunez, Firewind - the album and the band - maybe doesn’t ask the pair to think outside the box but both play their roles superbly well as they nail everything to the floor and allow the guitarist and singer to careen and preen at every opportunity. That said, this album isn’t just an excuse for Gus G to show off his incredible talents - thankfully he’s long understood that it always has to be Firewind over fireworks - but let’s just say that without his pyrotechnics, this band wouldn’t burn nearly as brightly as they do.

Langhans, for whatever reason, certainly seems to have split opinions, with some loving his full throated and in many ways vintage 80s metal attack, while others have been left pining for the more cultured sounds of Apollo Papathanasio, who is often seen as the definitive frontman of a band who’ve change singers with worryingly regularity. And yet, hold on tight to his howl on the dirty-guitar driven (I mean, everything here is guitar driven…) “Orbitual Sunrise”, his urgent charge on the ginormously riffed up “Perfect Strangers” (which offers up a serious sing-along), or his more relaxed bellow on the Saxon meets Scorpions of “Space Cowboy” and personally, I can hear nothing other than a cracking singer working in his natural habitat. Don’t believe me? Then settle in for the Byford meets Udo Dirkschneider of “Kill The Pain”!

Firewind do what Firewind do and yet to hear this band going back to their first two album roots and roughen up some of the smoother edges they’d given themselves in more recent times is both surprising and exciting. This is no revolution but it sure is damn good metal and there’s no denying that was always the intention.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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