• 8.5/10
    FAIR WARNING - Aura - 8.5/10


Metal Heaven
Release date: July 24, 2009

User Review
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The long awaited new album from German Melodic Rockers Fair Warning has finally come. It’s been three years since the release of their reunion album Brothers Keeper. The new record is entitled Aura and really shows fans that it was worth the wait. Fair Warning (FW) delivers quality Melodic Rock as always, ten strong songs plus a bonus track and a video clip “making of”.

The sound presented when listening to this record is much the same sound as experienced with Brothers Keeper. However, this is a far better record overall. It sounds great, and the songs are in true FW style. The drum sound is worthy of discussion. It’s indeed very special and defines a FW record worthy after the reunion three years ago. Especially the snare drum which sounds a bit different from other records. It’s more trashy, makes you wonder how much effect they put on it in the final mix.

Upon taking a closer look at some of the songs you’ll find the opener “Fight For Your Love” is definitely a classy Melodic Rock tune. It features some mind-sticking guitar riffs, great tempo and a catchy refrain with wonderful vocal arrangements. The band has always been good at making great vocal harmonies and that’s a very important reason to why this band is something different from other bands in the genre. They really show how important vocal harmonies can be and how they can lift a song even higher. Both bassist Ule Ritgen and guitarist Helge Engelke plays unison riffs almost throughout the entire song, which gives it much more attitude than just humping along playing some power chords. This is also something that separates Fair Warning from the rest of their genre; interesting riffing, often done unison between bass and guitar. Helge should also be praised for his picking of chords which is anything other than power chords, most of the time. There’s so much happening throughout their songs, never a boring moment … almost.

It’s also a dream to hear Helge Engelke’s fantastic guitar playing again. It’s been a year since the last Dreamtide album and that’s a long time not to hear from this very gifted musician. He puts up a great effort on this release with his six-stringer. As always he plays outstanding guitar solos high above most of the other guitarists in the genre. Helge Engelke is the very definition of a great Melodic Rock guitarist, indescribable.

The second song, “Here Comes The Heartache”, follows the same path as the opener. It’s a very riff dominated tune, just like the first one. This one also has a great sing-along chorus with nice vocal harmonies. From this one it takes a bit slower direction in the ballad “Hey Girl” before picking it up again with the funky grooves of “Don’t Count On Me”.

“Hey Girl” is a beautiful song and it features the most special guitar solo on the record. Well, the solo itself is not a wonder beyond belief, outstandingly played however, but it’s the backing guitars that makes it so remarkable. On this one Helge laid down a twin-guitar track to back up his solo. It sounds like something Brian May from Queen could have come up with, and at the end of the song Helge goes crazy with his guitar, showing what a great guitarist he is. His guitar sound is very special for the FW sound nowadays. It’s very clean and smooth but also rough when the music takes a heavier direction.

Ule should not be forgotten either. His bass lines are interesting and contribute to the constant musical evolution during the songs. Many bass players would probably play one note instead, much referred to as “AC/DC-bass” which is quite common in this genre. Tommy does also put up a great effort with his fantastic and characteristic voice.

Fair Warning is a band that never disappoints. Make sure to purchase this record, it’s worth the money!


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