Firewind - Few Against Many
Century Media
Heavy/Power Metal
10 songs (45:09)
Release year: 2012
Firewind, Century Media
Reviewed by Bar

Firewind are the sort of band that, for better or worse, are never going to be accused of taking too big a risk. They’ve worked themselves into a comfortable little niche, with a full awareness of their strengths and what their fan base is after. So it’s no surprise to find that their latest effort Few Against Many makes no unexpected deviations from the formula. It’s another serving of the familiar blend of Heavy Metal riffing and melodic Power Metal hooks that has served them so well thus far. Doesn’t sound like the greatest praise, I know, but this album is still worth checking out for fans of the band and anyone with an interest in the genre. This is thanks in no small part to the always entertaining work of virtuosic guitarist Gus G.

If you’re only familiar with Gus G thanks to his work on Ozzy Osbourne’s last solo outing, you’ll find that his output is decidedly more appealing here. Ozzy’s never ending mission to make great guitarists seem completely banal notwithstanding, Gus is a man who wields his axe with some serious flair. On Few Against Many, he once again offers up a tasty set of riffs that, while a little commercially orientated, are catchy as all hell. Opener Wall of Sound is a good example, shifting from high-speed scale manipulation to mid-tempo crunch and back again. Like everything this band does, it’s nothing new, but it’s just so catchy you have to let it slide. The title track is definitely a highlight riff-wise, with a pleasingly thrashy aggression coming to the surface. The production is much too clean for it to cross over into proper thrash territory, but there’s no denying the venom is there. It works for them too, I wouldn’t have been opposed to a bit more of this sort of aggression throughout.

The riffs are pretty decent, but the real reason to pay the price of admission here is Gus G’s solo work. He knows his way around a fret board, and the solos represent the highlights of practically every track. Without this stuff, I have to admit the album would be a lot more forgettable. He’s equally impressive whether he’s moving at full pace or going for a slow emotive sound. He achieves the latter on the ballad Edge of a Dream, which features Apocalyptica and is the only real stylistic departure on the album. If you ask me, Apocalyptica are a little wasted, and vocally it’s a bit too sappy. In fact, the vocal melodies are what most often brings the album down for me. Generally speaking, they are European Power Metal inspired, or maybe just slightly less flowery than that description might suggest. Either way, they tend to have the effect of making the songs sound a little more generic than they might otherwise have. Have a listen to the chorus of Another Dimension and you’ll see what I mean.

If you’ve followed Firewind’s career at all up to this point, you know what to expect here. The formula is very much in effect but the output is of a professional enough quality that you can’t complain too much. It matches up well against their previous efforts, and if you’re in the mood for some melodic, commercially leaning Heavy Metal then you could surely do a hell of a lot worse than this.

Killing Songs :
Wall of Sound, The Undying Fire, Few Against Many, Long Gone Tomorrow,
Bar quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Firewind that we have reviewed:
Firewind - Immortals reviewed by Joel and quoted 86 / 100
Firewind - Days Of Defiance reviewed by Erik and quoted 93 / 100
Firewind - The Premonition reviewed by Crims and quoted 82 / 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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