FIRELAND – Fireland

FIRELAND - Fireland
  • 7/10
    FIRELAND - Fireland - 7/10


Release date: April 8, 2008

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Hailing from Northern Ireland, one of the more obscure regions of the Metal world, is a young band named Fireland – yes, with a F and an Ireland. Very memorable name, and fortunately, so is the music. The style of the four piece is traditional twin guitar Heavy Metal, leaning slightly towards the melodic side now and then. That sound like a recipe for an 80’s Judas Priest album? Indeed, that is actually not very far from their style, and may well be worth gracing many collections as the music will appeal to a broad audience, as it is timeless and well done, sailing roughly in the wake of bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy.

The twelve tracks blend several decades of Heavy Metal history into one hour of adequate heaviness, which ignores every extreme side of hard music and rocks solidly down Metal memory lane, incorporating aspects from every era of Metal without blatantly copying any. One could say the band has found their style by looting the legacies of many bands, so that Fireland occasionally appears unoriginal and redundant. Then again, who does not like to put on an album which does not try to conceal the fact it is not composed to match the Prog masters or extreme Metal loonies but just to be fun?

The production is okay for an independent release, but it is the part of Fireland which leaves the most room for improvement. The opening track “Servants Of The Dark” would benefit from better production, and in general the whole sound could have a bit more bite. But any criticism is muffled by the traditional Metal hymns, ripe with melody and feeling, so that one can hardly avoid humming along with “Gods Of Love”, “In The Shadow Of The Sun” and “Coming Home”. Especially singer Andrew Baxter, whose many tattoos make the listener expect a harsher, more aggressive style, who has a very warm and melodic sound, sometimes reminding of singer Kai Wingenfelder of Hannover, Germany’s Pop heroes Fury In The Slaughterhouse.

While their old school style is their advantage, it is also the problem with Fireland. The songwriting is almost too uniform. Occasional differences in tempo like a faster paced “My Eternal” or the ballad “Fallen” are too rare. Every single song is good, but over the course of 12 tracks it becomes obvious that the band is still in the early stages of finding their style, as their current release is the first full length album, their second CD after a debut EP in five years of existence. Already, only “Betrayed To The Night” is too long to excite and track 13, which is not listed and seems to be a hidden track, has to be put on the minus side of this CD.

With this album they lay the groundwork, and in the future hopefully one can expect them to deviate more from the songwriting archetype they have chosen on Fireland. That will make their music even more interesting, but in the meantime it is worth visiting their website where they offer three tracks (“Servants Of The Dark”, “Gods Of Love” and “My Eternal”, all three album highlights) as free downloads. It would be really surprising if they would not get some requests for the album afterwards.


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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