Author: Craig Matthews
They say that you should never meet your childhood heroes. The same can be true about listening new music from your old favourites, if it’s no good it shatters the little nostalgia bubble you have and leave a bad taste in your mouth. I used to love FIREWIND back when I first heard them in 2008, sadly through time I’ve missed their later albums and I had all but forgotten about them. Until now, when I saw they were bringing a new record out I had that sudden wave of nostalgia and dived into their old classics, which brings me to now. “Immortals” is FIREWIND’S 8th studio album and features new vocalist Henning Basse, now one of FIREWIND’S biggest draws for me has always been Apollo Papathansio’s huge vocals, so with that I tentatively press play.
Things are looking good! “Immortals” starts with “Hands Of Time” which proves itself to be a glorious chest beating, fists in the air Power Metal anthem. The guitar work is furious and dynamic from Gus G with the obligatory face melting solo thrown in for good measure, the lyrics themselves are punchy and in typical FIREWIND style – incredibly catchy. We also get a first look at how Henning’s voice stacks up and I’ve got to admit I’m impressed, with Henning manning the microphone the band’s sound takes on a new rougher quality.
The assault continues on through the record and we get to “Ode To Leonidas” and it’s a stand out track for me, it dispenses with the more restrained sound from “Hands Of Time” and “We Defy” and gets a little crazy. FIREWIND seem to be just playing here, with a cliché spoken word opening and over the top lyrics mixed with subtle synths on Gus G’s brilliant solos, its great fun and will defiantly be a crowd pleaser in the future.
So far it’s difficult to see any faults with this album but if I had to be really picky, I’m finding the album lulling a bit after 4 high quality Power Metal tracks, the prime example of this being “Lady Of 1000 Sorrows”. It is a good track, but it lacks the power of the first 4 tracks. Sadly this lull seems to carry on for a few tracks, notably the title track “Immortals” I was hoping for something to re invigorate me for the rest of the album, sadly that’s not the case as all we have here is a 2 minute instrumental… that could have been more.
Don’t let that put you off though, as nearly every album has a dip and they always come back swinging. All in all “Immortals” is a great album. They are showing a new more mature side in their music and their lyrics. Henning has really stepped up to the mark on vocals, bringing a new rougher and less polished sound, I think it’s a great step for the band. I was nervous at first that a change like that would ruin a band I once loved, but they have gotten better and better. This album despite its flaws is a gem to look out for.
1.Hands of Time
3.Ode to Leonidas
4.Back on the Throne
5.Live and Die By the Sword
6.Wars of Ages
7.Lady of 1000 Sorrows
9.Warriors and Saints
10.Rise from the Ashes
Henning Basse – lead vocals
Gus G. – lead guitar, backing vocals
Petros Christodoulidis – bass, backing vocals
Bob Katsionis – keyboards, rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Johan Nunez – drums