It’s been five years since the band’s last album release, but FIREWIND have returned with their eighth studio album, entitled Immortals. It is also the band’s first album with new lead vocalist Henning Basse.
It is clear from the start that this is a Power Metal album, with the opening two tracks having the conventional elements that come with power metal songs – the vocals are extremely powerful which lead up to an epic memorable chorus for both tracks, Hands of Time and We Defy. The third track on the new album though, Ode to Leonidas, takes a different turn to the first two. It begins with an acoustic intro, and the whole feel of the song is much slower compared to what you’d expect from a power metal band. However, just over a minute in the tracks kicks into something much heavier, and suddenly the song is a completely different animal packed with fast hard riffs. The riffs in this particular song sound very similar to those from the JUDAS PRIEST hit Electric Eye.
The following track is also very different than anything else on the album. This particular track, Back On The Throne, builds up slowly through what sounds like a church organ, but, just like with the previous track, the guitar of Gus G takes over once more to put the song back into a more conventional power metal sound. In another similarity to Ode to Leonidas, the riffs used in this track sound like they have been taken from another classic metal hit, this time Bark At The Moon by Ozzy Osbourne. It would certainly suggest that Gus G has picked up some pointers from the Prince of Darkness while touring together.
Out of the ten tracks that feature on this album, there are only a handful which really stand out in one way or another. One of these, Lady Of 1000 Sorrows, appears to be the ‘ballad’ on this album that has become conventional on most power metal albums, with one that springs immediately to mind being Twilight Princess by HAMMERFALL. This track is much slower throughout compared to the rest of the album on a whole, with the riffs being much more gentle and slow, and again leading up to an epic powerful chorus.
The title track, Immortals, is a bit underwhelming. Where a lot of bands who have title tracks tend to make it one of the bigger hits on an album and really make it stand out, this time the title track is a hard, fast instrumental which lasts just under two minutes. It also follows into the next song, Warriors and Saints, which starts off fast, slows down before the opening verse, before picking up speed again. It’s a bit of a strange song to listen to but somehow manages to work surprisingly well, and the final track Rise From The Ashes is very similar in terms of the mix in tempo during the song.
Five years is a long time to wait for a new album for any band, especially for a band who have been around as long as FIREWIND. Whether it was worth the wait or not really depends on how much of a fan you are of the band. If you’re an avid fan of the band or power metal in general, then this is probably right up your street, and the album itself overall is good. However, there are too many different elements for just ten songs, and sometimes the experimentation doesn’t work. This is very much the case for FIREWIND, while the rest of the songs all sound very generic and don’t really have a distinct sound which says this is definitely a FIREWIND album.
Immortals is out now via Century Media Records.
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