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Bonfire - The Räuber

Published March 01 2008

=Staff's pick

The Räuber
Bells Of Freedom*
Refugee Of Fate
The Oath
Blut Und Tod
Love Don't Lie
Black Night*
Hip Hip Hurray
Do You Still Love Me
Let Me Be Your Water
Lass Die Toten Schlafen
The Good Die Young
Father's Return
Love Don't Lie (Acoustic Mix)
Do You Still Love Me (Acoustic Mix)
Hip Hip Hurray (German Version)

Genre Hard Rock
Claus Lessman
Tracks 17
Hans Ziller
Runningtime 71 Min.
Chris Limburg
Label LZ Records
Uwe Köhler
Release 16 Feb. 2008
Jürgen Wiehler
Country Germany
Similar artists Gotthard, Firehouse, Bon Jovi

The German melodic hard rockers Bonfire was one of my favourite bands of the genre in the eighties. Albums like Don't Touch The Light, Fireworks and Point Blank were frequent guests on my record player back then. In the nineties however I lost track of the band completely and it was not until the release of Double X in 2006 when I found my way back. Double X wasn't maybe a masterpiece but surpassed my expectations a great deal and included a couple of fantastic songs. When it was time to record a new album Bonfire was approached by director Pierre Walter Politz with a proposition to work together in a project based on Fredrik Schiller's Storm and Stress drama "Die Räuber". The idea was that Bonfire should write a new album in the vein of the classic Bonfire sound and then perform these songs together with Politz in Theatres as a rock opera.

Despite the background of this project The Räuber sounds just as expected when it comes to Bonfire; melodic and quite simple hard rock with a few ballads here and there. After the usual intro the albums kickstarts with Bells Of Freedom, a great rocker with driven guitars and a simple yet efficient chorus that sticks like glue. This is by far the best tune on The Räuber and sets the expectations maybe a bit to high on the rest that is to follow. Love Don't Lie is a typical Bonfire ballad that is quite beautiful and even though I'm not a big fan of ballads this one is above average I must say. The idea of including German lyrics on some compositions, such as Blut Und Tod, works quite well and fits the concept perfectly. Black Night is probably the only track that can compete with the opener and has a sound that reminds me of the good old days. Hip Hip Hurray however is pure rubbish (what were they thinking of?) and probably the worst song I've ever heard from Bonfire. On the second half they also have included a couple of cheesy and soft compositions with melodies you have heard thousand times before and to be honest, they all bore the hell out of me.

The Räuber leaves me quite disappointed in the end. Some of the compositions really show that Bonfire still has potential but the number of indifferent tracks is far too many and lowers my final judgement. On top of that I also dislike the dry and somewhat muddy production that prevents the album from sounding as dynamic as I would want it. In total, an uneven effort from Bonfire but maybe this will work better in the theatres together with Pierre Walter Politz?








5 chalices of 10 - Hawk

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