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Firewind-Immortals


Despite now being widely recognised as the guitar spark of Ozzy’s solo work, Gus G’s heart is still in Firewind. The Greek power metal group thankfully haven’t let the man’s appointed work overshadow their legacy, but it does seem that, at least since the release of 2012’s Few Against Many, Gus G’s name has been held in loftier heights than before this time. Nonetheless, it’s good to see that Firewind are still around, especially given that various members of the band are now doing their own thing aside from the regular live and studio appearances.

 

The beginning of 2017 sees the release of latest Firewind album, Immortals, and as usual, features Gus G’s well-renowned style of aggressive albeit satisfying guitar work amidst the typical power metal sounds the band have stuck to since day one. There isn’t much to say about Immortals, save that it’s exactly what you would expect from any other Firewind effort. Opener “Hands of Time” demonstrates a thrashy, menacing power metal storm which proves to be both fluent and accessible whilst never seeming to overstay its welcome. Gus G’s powerhouse mid-section is thankfully not brief, and is the one moment of the song that is surely to stay in the listener’s mind more than anything else. The very same can be said for songs such as “Back on the Throne” and “Wars of Ages”, but it has to be said that without Gus G’s presence, much of the material here would be less interesting.

 

This said, it does seem that Firewind, as a collective, are rejuvenated after almost five years of no studio work. The vocal menace proves a little strange given that power metal is usually known for its soaring highs, but thankfully frontman Henning Basse uses his versatile approach to give songs such as “Hands of Time” and “Ode to Leonidas” an extra punch-something that is needed at times to prevent a state of stagnation. However, the rhythm section is just as reliable in regards to the consistency of the songwriting here, and despite Immortals not being a particularly groundbreaking release, it demonstrates the talents of all members of Firewind, not merely Gus G. However, when an instrumental sub-two-minute powerhouse takes the place of the title track and is basically all Gus G, t’s hard not to admit that the man has had quite a stronghold over this album. Indeed, the title track explodes and proves to be one of the album’s definitive highlights, showcasing everything that makes him a well-respected guitarist in this style of metal.

 

Whilst not a particularly progressive step from record sin the past, Immortals certainly seeks to impress with its straightforward, no-frills approach to pleasing the devotees and inviting anyone else who has a penchant for this style of power metal. Gus G’s involvement is certainly obvious of course, but more than that is the knowledge that Firewind, as a collective, are in a strong position in the world of metal and know definitively that they can effortlessly storm the gates, as it were. Perhaps the next record won’t take so long to land then? Here’s hoping.

 

3.4/5

Released: 20th January, 2017

 

  1. Hands of Time
  2. We Defy
  3. Ode to Leonidas
  4. Back on the Throne
  5. Live and Die By the Sword
  6. Wars of Ages
  7. Lady of 1000 Sorrow
  8. Immortals
  9. Warriors and Saints
  10. Rise from the Ashes

 

Bandpage/Facebook: http://www.firewind.gr/

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