Firewind: Few Against Many

This is the album that Firewind needed to make. If you read my review on Days of Defiance, I said that I thought the band were just releasing the same album for a third time now with no real promising aspects to it. This album however, is a breath of fresh air for Firewind. It’s got the undeniable Firewind sound, but they do a lot of new and different things to make it more modern and something fresh.

After spending some time as Ozzy’s new guitarist, shredder Gus G returns to Firewind to deliver another spectacular performance. The riffs on this album are some of the best riffs he’s ever come up with and he shreds like a mother fucker on every song. His guitar plays well with what Apollo’s vocals are doing. Apollo’s vocals are very soulful and rich and I would argue that this is his best record lyrically and vocally. The band was looking for a much heavier sound all together for this new record and they certainly achieved that because this is easily their heaviest record to date.

Like I said before, the band pull out some new tricks on this album that haven’t been heard before. For starters. the vocals on the song, “Few Against Many” feature Apollo doing some death metal-like growls on some lyrics and the chorus is a huge melodic wall of vocals layered on top of one another with Apollo going in between and such. The song that will really get people talking is “Edge of a Dream”, which features Finnish Cello-metallers Apocalyptica. Apocalyptica kinda faded away for me because I didn’t like their follow-up to Worlds Collide, but they do a spectacular job on this track. It’s basically vocals, piano and Apocalyptica and it’s a very beautiful song that brings out this whole other side of Apollo as a singer and as a lyricist.

This album made me really love this band again. I got interested in this band when I saw the video for “Mercenary Man.” I fell in love with the band after that, bought The Premonition, and actually tried to learn how to play that on guitar (I can play it on drums, but the solo on guitar killed me needles to say). I started looking into their back catalog and by the time Days of Defiance came out, I was slightly disappointed. The album wasn’t bad and I understand was actually widely critically acclaimed. To me however, I felt it was just a weaker version of The Premonition and I thought the Premonition was a better version of the two albums the came previously (these were all the albums that featured Apollo on vocals. The band released two albums prior to Apollo joining the band). I thought the band was just releasing the same album over and over again and needed a change. Thankfully the change came with this new record. Filled with a batch of new, fresh, and entertaining tracks, this is the album the band needed to make and the pulled it off masterfully.

Luke Helker

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