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Articles Home » 2008 Articles » Firewind - 2008 The Premonition
Firewind - 2008 The Premonition

ARTIST: Firewind
ALBUM: The Premonition
LABEL: Century Media
SERIAL: CM 9977482
YEAR: 2008
CD REISSUE: 2012, Century Media, 9982810 (2CD)


LINEUP: Gus G - guitars * Apollo Papathanasio - vocals * Petros Christo - bass * Bob Katsionis - keyboards * Mark Cross - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Into The Fire * 02 Head Up High * 03 Mercenary Man * 04 Angels Forgive Me * 05 Remembered * 06 My Loneliness * 07 Circle Of Life * 08 The Silent Code * 09 Maniac * 10 Life Foreclosed



More of the same please! And that's just what Greek guitar demon Gus G has delivered. Rather than tinker with the line-up of the band, as has been the case often since the band's debut in 2002, Gus has pretty much left things as they were since 2006's very good 'Allegiance' album. A stable line-up means consistency, familiarity, and more importantly for fans and record label Century Media - stability. All good words to be put to use on this new platter 'The Premonition'. It's not as if we need any prior warning as to what will eventuate beyond the release of this album.. the songs will rock, the crowds will turn up to the concerts, the media will love this record, and George W Bush will continue to defend the indefendable.. call that a premonition if you will! lol! It's hard to pinpoint Firewind. Are they power-metal? Are they melodic metal? Is there a difference? Some would say yes, others would disagree. What most will not disagree on - is that this album is full to the brim on power, and loaded to the max on melodies. Not too many bands can run this lot when they're on full song - and having two musical monsters onboard in the form of Bob Katsionis and Mark Cross is a meisterstroke. These two provide the color and the thunder.

The Songs
With my previous review of 'Allegiance', I talked about the band refining their sound back then. That album saw a dabble into the melodic hard rock zone. Not so this time, Firewind keep things very metallized, if anything even more so than before. Is this due to the influence of mixer/producer Fredrik Nordstrom? Probably not. This band has got more chops and balls regardless of who is behind the console. An interlude of sorts leads us literally 'Into The Fire'. The brief Malmsteen-ish solo makes way for some thunderous heavy metal, with everybody doing a wonderful job of inflicting ear-damage. Good to hear Apollo Papathanasio in powerful voice. A metallic anthem is the best way to describe 'Head Up High', with suitable lyrics and attitude to match. 'Mercenary Man' takes on a celtic flavor using Thin Lizzy and Gary Moore as marker buoys, but a with heap more metal weighing it down. Bob Katsionis's keys introduce us to 'Angels Forgive Me', a fantastic rocker with some chopping rhythm guitar work from Gus, and a hard driving section propelling this one along at break-need speed, until the first bridge and solo sections at least.

Firewind hit the hyperdrive switch on 'Remembered'. A super metallic outburst that reinvents the metronome to points upward and off the BPM scale. Conversely, the band move into power-ballad mode for 'My Loneliness'. It's ok, but doesn't send a shiver down my spine. Nice guitar solo though. Gus chugs away valiantly on 'Circle Of Life', a track that sounds more hard rock than metal, with a dash of Pink Cream 69 and perhaps Jorn Lande in the mix. Still, an entertaining listen. Back to soxing our rocks off is 'The Silent Code'. A brutal slab of riffing and snare bashing that alternates in tempo throughout - keeping everyone on their toes! Gus provides guitar attack from different points of the mix, making this track sound ultimately huge! Haha.. Is this light relief or are these boys serious? A cover of Michael Sembello's hit single 'Maniac' is given the Firewind seal of approval. Actually, this is bloody good, I enjoyed this version, and it's in keeping with Gus's inclination to try and include a cover song on each of his albums. The last track 'Life Foreclosed' also has an anthemic quality to it. Not quite sure what to make of this one. Is the message negative or positive? I'll let you be the judge.

In Summary
The elements which make Firewind's current brand of music so appealing is their winning combination of melody and metal. Somehow I think this is why European melodic metal is far superior to those found on the other side of the transatlantic pond.. sorry to say. Firewind are on tour in Europe during April 2008, and then head over to North America in May, alongside the bands Arch Enemy Dark Tranquillityand Divine Heresy - none of whom I am familiar with. If the price is right, get along and see four bands for a quadruple metal experience. In the meantime, join the crystal ball gazers and acquire your own copy of 'The Premonition'.

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#1 | george_the_jack on June 01 2008 17:19:10
Very good new release from Gus and his friends. Excellent melodic power metal, well produced! The album contains a cover of ''Maniac'' (the superhit of the 80's)which is in the top 10 of rock radios in Thessaloniki-Greece Smile
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