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Articles Home » 2004 Articles » Firewind - 2004 Forged By Fire
Firewind - 2004 Forged By Fire

Chity Somapala - vocals
Gus G - guitars
Petros Christos - bass
Stian Kristoffersen - drums
Bob Katsionis - keyboards

Yep, I'll admit it. I am huge Firewind fan. For me, this band are to heavy metal what Justin Gatlin is to sprinting.. an athletic mean machine, without excesses and over-indulgences. Mainly, it's cutting shred metal with a load of melody played within the space of tight musical arrangements. Two years previous, Firewind released their debut 'Between Heaven And Hell' and made an immediate impact on the scene, as did their 2003 follow-up 'Burning Earth'. At the time, guitar firebrand Gus G was spending time among numerous other outfits (Dream Evil, Nightrage and Mystic Prophecy), and though learning a lot by working with many different musicians, his principal project was always Firewind. The lineup for 'Forged By Fire' has changed too. Singer Stephen Patrick moved onto Kinrick, replaced by German/Sri-Lankan singer Chity Somapala (Faro, Avalon), whose voice is an excellent addition to the band. Norwegian drumming powerhouse Stian Kristoffersen from Pagans Mind lends his hands and feet to Firewind this time around.

The Songs
For starters, 'Kill To Live' sounds as if Zakk Wylde had walked in off the street to play this song. It's heaviness flows over into the next 'Beware The Beast'; the chugging riffs and metronomic mastery provided by Kristoffersen are joy to behold. 'Tyranny' is the albums flagship piece, very much a Pink Cream 69 induced slice of heavy rock for which did a video too. Trademark Firewind riffing precedes 'The Forgotten Memory', though the choir arrangement midstream sounds like Threshold. Former Death and Obituary guitarist James Murphy provides the solo. The atmospheric 'Hate World Hero' takes its queue from the brand of metal heard on Black Sabbath's pairing of 'Headless Cross' and 'Tyr', both tremendous efforts to compare against. 'Escape From Tomorrow' is a song of two parts: fast and furious prog metal mainly, with fluid melodic verses that change its shape. Gus and the boys deliver an instrumental 'Feast Of The Savages'. Shred hero Marty Friedman adds his personal touch with two solos. The band could surely stomp their way directly to the Underworld with 'Burn In Hell', which sounds to me as if it as an ode to the dearly departed Adolf Hitler. The grinding metal that is 'Perished In Flames' could be Black Sabbath's 'Iron Man' resurrected in 2004. One of the best tracks for me is the power-ballad 'Land Of Eternity', complete with soaring vocals and razor sharp solo. The bonus track which ends the album 'Confide' is a tender acoustic tune that brings to mind the stuff The Scorpions used to do.

In Summary
Up to this point in their career, 'Forged By Fire' is the bands strongest effort yet. To truly stand out, the band needed to vary their songs and arrangements, and they've done it on this disc. The full-on metal attack can only be sustained for so long, and Gus appreciates that mixing it up like he has will ensnare a wealth of new fans. I love the way the band has managed to sound melodic, and (in some cases) commercial without having to sacrifice their heaviness. For me, Firewind are the best representation of heavy metal in the new millenium. Long may it continue.


Track Listing:
01 Kill To Live
02 Beware The Beast
03 Tyranny
04 The Forgotten Memory
05 Hate World Hero
06 Escape From Tomorrow
07 Feast Of The Savages
08 Burn In Hell
09 Perished In Flames
10 Land Of Eternity
11 Confide

Related Articles:

Firewind - 2002 Between Heaven And Hell

Firewind - 2004 Forged By Fire

Firewind - 2006 Allegiance

Firewind - 2008 The Premonition

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#1 | sabace on August 03 2008 16:36:58
great debut from ex dream evil guitarist!
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