By Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks
Greek guitar wizard Gus G makes a fresh start with a splendid new Firewind album.
Since the last Firewind studio album, 2017’s “Immortals”, Gus G has officially left his gig as guitarist in Ozzy Osbourne’s band. He has also made some changes with his band Firewind, which is now fronted by the terrific Herbie Langhans of Avantasia fame. The result? A fresh approach built on Firewind’s legacy of splendid melodies and great guitar riffs. Firewind has always had great singers, but adding Herbie Langhans to the band at this stage of its development is a great move. In Avantasia, Herbie is a cast member, mainly a back-up singer. Here he gets to shine like never before. Of course, he’s sharing the limelight with a famous guitarist. That’s never an easy task for a vocalist. But Herbie pulls it off and does so without overshadowing Gus G or the other band members. Obviously, with Gus G as its founder, Firewind is a guitar band. But the guitars are never allowed to steal the entire songs. Firewind manages to deliver melodic hard rock full of energy and combine it with world-class guitar work without boring or overwhelming the listener. From the exquisite and epic opening song, “Welcome to the Empire”, until the speedy final track, “Kill the Pain”, this album never lets go of its listener. The almost power ballad-like “Longing to Know You” is a highlight on the album. It lets Herbie show off his vocals while at the same time really showcase this band’s musicality. Its slower tempo is also a nice contrast to the album’s faster tracks. “Perfect Strangers” is a very good metal track which has some Accept vibes while “Overdrive” is classic hard rock with both melody and power and phenomenal guitar work. The curiously named song “Space Cowboy” is an interesting and great piece of music which has a classic rock touch to it. The closing track “Kill the Pain” is fast and bursting with energy but still melodic. It’s a great way to close a very good album.
Firewind’s new album “Firewind” will be out on 15th May via AFM Records.