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Articles Home » 2006 Articles » Firewind - 2006 Allegiance
Firewind - 2006 Allegiance

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ARTIST: Firewind
ALBUM: Allegiance
LABEL: Century Media
SERIAL: 77629-2
YEAR: 2006


LINEUP: Gus G - guitars * Apollo Papathanasio - vocals * Petros Christo - bass * Mark Cross - drums * Bob Katsionis - keyboards * Tara - guest vocals 'Breaking The Silence'

TRACK LISTING: 01 Allegiance * 02 Insanity * 03 Falling To Pieces * 04 Ready To Strike * 05 Breaking The Silence * 06 Deliverance * 07 Til The End Of Time * 08 Dreamchaser * 09 Before The Storm * 10 The Essence * 11 Where Do We Go From Here



Ever since I first heard the talents of Gus G, I have been an ongoing admirer of his work. Not only the quality, but also the multiple output, across numerous projects and outings. What has been a constant throughout the last few years has been the attention given to detail with his own band Firewind. Having given up his roles with other outfits, and a changing of the guard with his own band, it means that Firewind are presented with a fresh face. Joining Gus for another round of melodic mayhem is Fredrik Nordstrom, his team-mate from Dream Evil, who mixed this album. I gotta say - Firewind sound better than ever, and have the same commitment to metal as before, but on 'Allegiance', their approach has definitely tempered toward melodic hard rock. If you compare 'Forged In Fire' with 'Allegiance' for instance, the change is noticeable. It's like Gus has positioned the band in the same territory as Pink Cream 69 and Whitesnake! Joining Gus are a couple of well known names, including Swedish based singer Apollo Papathanasio, keyboardist extraordinaire Bob Katsionis and hard working British drummer Mark Cross, also to be heard on the new Saracen album 'In Vox Excelso'. This is Firewind's fourth studio album, and they seem to be refining their sound as they continue on.

The Songs
The title track leads us away. This is heavy-hitting material in keeping with prior albums. 'Insanity', is equally as hard-hitting, but the melodic overtones are more apparent. The lead guitar work from Gus is the icing on the cake. 'Falling To Pieces' has a distinctive keyboard melody underpinning the song, the whole thing coming off like Pink Cream 69 in their prime. 'Ready To Strike' could be a metal version of Whitesnake meeting Lion, Apollo's near Coverdale rendition a touch too close, while John Sykes should be seeking royalties! Female vocals from Swedish singer/songwriter Tara is the feature on the 'Breaking The Silence'. Her joint effort with Apollo makes for a great listen. Again, the whole affair is very melodic. 'Deliverance' is something a little bit different from Gus and the team. Trademark heavy in places, but light and lilting in others. The use of keys and acoustic guitar provides harmony all throughout. Back to typical Firewind of olde, with the rampaging pair of 'Till The End Of Time' and 'Dreamchaser', both with chugga-chugga riffs and the double-bass backbeat. 'Before The Storm' is a dreamy instrumental, while 'The Essence' continues that Pink Cream 69 like intensity, containing some interesting guitar parts from Gus. 'Where Do We Go From Here' finishes the album with smooth melodic hard rock intentions.

In Summary
I'm listening to this album and looking at parallels to Yngwie Malmsteen and Chris Impellitteri back in the eighties.. and I'm thinking.. isn't it be great to hear Gus pull out an album like Yngwie did with 'Odyssey' or Chris did with 'Stand In Line'? 'Allegiance' isn't quite in that league, but if this is the intended direction, then watch out for the next album. I wouldn't want Gus to completely sell out but judging by what I've heard on 'Allegiance', he has the skill level and the melodic inclination to attempt such a feat. However, in the short term, for those of us who love listening to a bit of fiery power packed metal with a bundle of melody wrapped around it, then Firewind are calling out to you.

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