8/10

Second straight “Band including a Guitar virtuoso” review for me. And the difference is?
Far heavier than Axel Rudi Pell, harder and much better in my opinion. To start with we are all “Welcome to the empire” and I gladly enter the world of Firewind with this track to see what they can come up with.

“Devour” keeps the pace without the band losing their way. Vibes of Gamma Ray/Primal Fear on this one. The guitar sound of Gus G appeals more to me than, say Axel Rudi Pell (if I shall continue comparing those two). And I think there is more going on in the world of Firewind compared to ARP. “Rising Fire” was chosen as a video single and I can see why. Very catchy but not even close to be the best song on the album though. Skip to the next track “Breakaway” and it’s even better. “Orbitual Sunrise”, here´s the single they should have released, catchy and sing-along friendly without getting cheesy. “Longing to Know You” is the weak link of the album. All through the record I try to figure out who Herbie sounds like. Take “Perfect Stranger” for instance, here he sound like Mark Tornillo.

This album is a big contender for top positions when it is time to figure out the “album of the year” list. I can only imagine when Herbie finds his own characteristic voice, then I think Firewind will take big steps up the popularity ladder, that´s for sure. It was a long time since I heard a record that I could keep my focus on like this one all through the listening session. Says a lot about the album.

https://open.spotify.com/album/0eABZjNzoxwU6UVDyPzg3y?si=33PnS9JxQ46IbjhpmtGzkw

Band: Firewind
Title: Firewind
Label: AFM Records
Date of release: 20-05-15
Rate: 8/10
Stand out tracks: Devour, Breakaway