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Firewind - The Premonition

Published March 26 2008

=Staff's pick

Into The Fire*
Head Up High*
Mercenary Man*
Angels Forgive Me
My Loneliness
Circle Of Life*
The Silent Code*
Maniac (Michael Sembelo Cover)*
Life Foreclosed

Genre Power/Speed Metal
Apollo Papathanasio
Tracks 10
Gus G.
Runningtime 45 Min.
Bob Katsionis
Label Century Media
Petros Christo
Release 25 March 2008
Mark Cross
Country USA
Bob Katsionis
Similar artists Stratovarius, Axel Rudi Pell, Astral Doors

Burning earth, scorching the wind with fire and fury, ready to strike, here they are again, the masters of the revolution. This is the articulate cry of Into The Fire with its allegiance to Metallica. This opening track sets the passionate pace for a solid Power Metal magnum opus. Having garnered avid success from their uncompromising endeavor - Allegiance, including an American Tour with Henning Basse from Metalium filling in as vocalist; before the storm, Firewind reign through The Premonition. I've always endorsed Firewind, but they were never my top priority. All this has been drastically altered by The Premonition, and I heed the call.

I was honored to converse with Gus G. when I witnessed Firewind open for Edguy, last autumn. I was surprised to realize that he was not your sterotyped "Guitar God", but thankfully a very cordial individual, who was willing to just sit and chat. His approachable and genial nature allowed me the opportunity to befriend such an awesome icon of mettle. I prefer his work with Dream Evil, but after discerning The Premonition, I understand why this warrior has opted to make this band his main focus and healing tool.

I strongly agree with Bill Peters of Auburn Records. He has consistently been playing new Firewind in heavy rotation on his "Metal On Metal" Radio program every Friday on http://www.wjcu.org. He qualifies that Firewind have really stepped up on this new recording with better songwriting, and more inspired melodies. We both count new Firewind as our favorite release, this year, so far. I first heard The Premonition on Bill's show in early February, and I instantly became enthralled, seeking out, and securing my own advanced copy to review.

Like Stratovarius at the pinnacle of their success, nigh a decade ago; Firewind blend strong musicianship from an all-star line-up of metal's elite, with powerful lyrical inspiration. Each member serves the system through his own artistic expertise. The lyrics are endearing, honest, and sincere. I'm animated by such provocations of wisdom and wile. Songs like Circle Of Life, Head Up High, and especially Remembered, speak to my heart: "Do the things you want to do, let the spirit guide you through...forgive/forget...never hate...". The substance of Power Metal is that it evokes sentiments of enthusiasm and reverent contemplation. Firewind embrace her virtues with fervor and glorious intent.

Apollo Papathanasio's eloquent pronunciation and vocal delivery enhances the musical experience. Whether he channels Dio somewhere between Heaven And Hell, or reminds me of Jørn Lande or Nils Patrik Johansson from Astral Doors, his somber innocence penetrates the atmosphere through his attentuated vocal cadence .

Dreamchaser Kostas Karamitroudis (Gus G.) has the potential to be the next Lars Yngwie Johann Lannerbach Malmsteen or Axel Rudi Pell. Like Timo Tolkki, he spiritually harnesses the power and majesty to incorporate aggressive axe splitting rhythms, with classical orchestrations. He has essentially formulated and forged his own recognizable style. Bassist Petros Christos shadows his icon Phil Lynott as Mercenary Man exudes a fondness for Thin Lizzy and Gary Moore. Keyboardist Bob Katsionis' signature sting, brings a blessed balance to the overall intensity. The cover of Michael Sembelo's Maniac from Flashdance is an exceptional argument for this approach. Sigma from Italy also attempted this cover on their 2000 self-titled release, but Firewind's rendition is an amazing highlight. Choosing to conclude the CD with Life Forclosed is truly apropos, both in song structure and sonic timing.

There are really no weak or filler cuts on the album. There are no commercially oriented anthems, or even female vocals. My Loneliness is the closest there is to a power ballad. Firewind are breaking the silent code of ethics with incredible guitar work and metallic arrangements. With The Premonition fulfilled, this fantastic fates warning signifies pure metal providence and a sublime ascension. Firewind chime to their celestial destination forevermore; till the end of time. Gus and his fellow Greek brethren are perpetually raging, hold their heads up high, secure in the knowledge that they have mastered a masterpiece.

See also review of: Immortals , Forged By Fire








8,5 chalices of 10 - Michael the MettleAngel

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