Firewind - The Premonition
Century Media
Power Metal
10 songs (45'11)
Release year: 2008
Firewind, Century Media
Reviewed by Crims

The Premonition is the latest Firewind release, who should change their name to “The Gus G. band”. The revolving door of musicians that is this band is certainly not uncommon in Metal these days, or even in past years, though at least this time they managed to retain the vocal stylings of Apollo Papathanasio for a 2nd release. Firewind have always played a style of Power Metal relying heavily on traditional and speed elements that has always been fairly generic but most of the time enjoyable. I’ve always enjoyed the debut, Between Heaven And Hell, the most, with the other releases having a hit or miss vibe with most tracks. Though not exactly a show-stopping piece of Metal mastery, The Premonition is the band’s most consistent release since the debut, and thus one of their more enjoyable as well.

If you’ve listened to Firewind’s previous releases you know what to expect. The band mostly stays in the fast, double bass mode with sprinkles of the more mid-paced melody based work of the last two releases. Keyboards seem to play a prominent role again on a few tracks on this release giving certain songs a slightly more melodic Heavy Metal feel again. The riffs themselves are all quite good, the problem for most people is the Gus G. riffage is just not all that original, although not too many people do the half-Power Metal, half-Speed Metal riff-attack better than Gus in my opinion. The vocal performance from Apollo is excellent here. He sings with a lot of emotion and power, almost matching the awesome performance of Stephen Fredrick on the debut. Apollo is able to keep pace with the more aggressive, choppy parts of the release like Remembered and The Silent Code (that harkens back to the earlier work of the band), and also the more melodic, catchy moments like Mercenary Man and Angels Forgive Me (which is in the vein of music from the past two releases). I have to say over the past few releases very few choruses and verse sections have really stuck, but the extra dose of hook emphasizing seems to have done the trick on most tracks as all but a few were highly memorable.

Is there enough here to bring the CD out of the generic pool of Power Metal which seems to be overflowing these days? The answer is: sort of. The whole release has a nice throw back feel to the way the choruses are constructed and the riffs are completely devoid of anything modern and are influenced by many 80’s Speed Metal releases and early 2000’s True Metal bands, and for the most part are back to the same aggression level of the Fredrick releases. It’s all actually quite well done and the song writing is a step above the previous three releases which had too many lack luster choruses and indifferent riffs. When it comes down to it, regardless of the quality, people who have complained about unoriginality in the past will do the same here. The most original sounding song is probably the last, which is Life Foreclosed. This track is the somewhat progressive song of the release with lots of build up, an excellent chorus (that features excellent background harmonizing), and not to mention a punishing heavy riff in the vein of the awesome Morgana Lefay for the pre-chorus and end section. For me, the overall scope of the CD and quality hooks, riffs, and vocals are enough for me to recommend this which I can’t say I could have done since Between Heaven And Hell (which I still listen to on a regular basis). Like many Power Metal releases these days this will either be lauded for its unoriginality or praised for its Traditional and “True” Metal influences, head-bang worthy riffs and catchy vocals. I think most of you will probably already know which side of the fence you sit on before you even the read review. For those of you new to the band, Firewind, at least on this release, make up one of the more polished and consistent bands in the style.

Killing Songs :
Into The Fire, Mercanary Man, Remembered, Circle Of Life, Life Foreclosed
Crims quoted 82 / 100
Chris quoted 92 / 100
Danny quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by Firewind that we have reviewed:
Firewind - Immortals reviewed by Joel and quoted 86 / 100
Firewind - Few Against Many reviewed by Bar and quoted 80 / 100
Firewind - Days Of Defiance reviewed by Erik and quoted 93 / 100
Firewind - Allegiance reviewed by Marty and quoted 86 / 100
Firewind - Forged By Fire reviewed by Marty and quoted 78 / 100
To see all 8 reviews click here
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