Produced by Fredrik Nordström
Greece's finest (only?) power metal outfit seemed to tread water a little on their last outing, Allegiance, which although gave rise to two of their most popular singles, did seem to signal simply more of the same now that they've found a larger following.
But still a solid album it was, and thankfully they've continued to take steps forward with The Premonition. In fact, the new disc is by far the band's heaviest to date, and you can tell this from the acoustic intro. That may sound weird, but it's just how some of Metallica and Testament's heaviest tracks start, and Into The Fire doesn't disappoint. Massively fast and heavy with all the catchy power metal hooks Firewind have made their name with.
The unmistakable influence of Dio, especially in the verses, rings throughout Head Up High and in rousing first single (with two non-album b-sides) Mercenary Man, both already live favourites, and again in Silent Code, while other more typical Firewind moments surface on Remembered and Circle of Life. But it's in the newer ideas that this album stands above Allegiance and possibly Forged In Fire as well.
Almost-ballad My Loneliness, for instance, strikes an interesting middle ground between standard power metal balladry and something slightly more solemn; Apollo Papathanasio managing to sound uncannily like Sting on The Police's Message In A Bottle while singing the track's title lines. Then at the end of the album there's a quite unbelievably metal cover of the intentionally-'80s dance-pop of Maniac, from the 'Flashdance' soundtrack, followed by the band's most aggressive song to date in Life Foreclosed, which sounds like like something from Lions Share's latest album, Emotional Coma.
While still not ground-breaking, The Premonition firmly solidifies Firewind's metal credentials, if there were ever any doubt, and along with Gus G.'s increasingly high profile as a guitar virtuoso, they are starting to draw the crowds Worldwide (so please release the singles outside of Greece, guys). This new, heavier sound won't do them any harm either.
“ fast and heavy ”
Tracklist: Into The Fire / Head Up High / Mercenary Man / Angels Forgive Me / Remembered / My Loneliness / Circle of Life / Silent Code / Maniac / Life Foreclosed
Special Edition Bonus DVD: Into The Fire (Live) / Head Up High (Live) / Mercenary Man (Live) / My Loneliness (Live) / Interviews
Photo(s): Patric Ullaeus | www.revolver.se
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