FIREWIND – Forged By Fire

FIREWIND - Forged By Fire


Century Media
Release date: November 17, 2004

User Review
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Greek Guitarist Gus G – that’s a lot of Gs – is a busy man. Not only is he a fast shredder and one of the most popular players out there, especially in Japan, but he’s a recording artist who likes to keep a tight schedule (he’s also playing with Nightrage and recently quit Dream Evil), hence Firewind’s third CD, Forged By Fire, the first supported by Century Media.

Firewind is now a Greek/Norwegian/German Metal combo, as the band consists of Petros Christo (bass), Bob Katsionis (keys), and Gus Greek, as well as Pagan’s Mind’s Stian Kristoffersen on drums, and German, though Sri Lanka-born, Chity Somapala on vocals. The latter joined the fold for the band’s Japanese tour in 2003, and was by no surprise asked to become a member. Good move, Gus.

Exotic Chitral is a great fit for the band, with his gutsy vocal attitude, and mostly clean voice. What was most impressive on Firewind’s previous releases was, in fact, singer Stephen Fredrick. Some say they prefer Fredrick – and some say the world is still flat – but Chity is indeed a better pick, and if you ever get to hear his Queen coverband, this will make perfect sense. The day when Klaus Meine puts his silly hat and tambourine down, and Jabbs/Schenker decide to move on – here’s the man. Chity is indeed a product of the Scorpions generation, but he is not limited to it.

Powerhouse Kristoffersen delivers solid drumming for Firewind. You might also believe that he mixed the record all by himself, as the drums are friggin’ loud – along with the rhythm guitar, of course – but the overall production sounds better than …And Justicte For All, if you get the point. The openers “Kill To Live” and “Beware The Beast” hit you with massive riffs, catchy choruses, and thunderous drumming, from a band, that despite the distances between its members, has a common attitude and potential to burn up the charts. Third, “Tyranny,” is very Helloween-ish, but perhaps the best Helloween number since “Where The Rain Grows” (ooops, except “Just A Little Sign”), and is indeed a good single/video candidate. There’sothing new under the sun here, neither on “Tyranny” nor on this entire record, for that matter, but as long as the delivery and songwriting reach a level this high, you can’t really complain.

Other highlights are the incredibly catchy “Hateworld Hero,” “The Forgotten Memory,” “Burn In Hell,” and even the cheesy ballad “Land Of Eternity,” which again will wake up the Scorpions fans. That song is the best Scorpions ballad since “Still Loving You,” or maybe even since “Almost Somewhere.” Again, Firewind lends a trick or three, but if you want to know what old school Heavy Metal sounds like (with updated production) – here’s the real deal.

As you might have guessed by now – Firewind can reach out to the same audience as Hammerfall (and they are just confirmed as openers on the Swedes’ European trek in April). None of these bands invented the wheel, but they sure know how to roll it. Whereas Hammerfall might be even more old school in their approach, Firewind scores because they have Gus G handling the guitar, and Bob Katsionis on keyboards, who both make a more lasting impression with their great skills. European festival organizers should take notice of Century Media’s new potential money spinner.


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