Firewind - The Premonition

5 (excellent)
Stand out moments: 
Into the Fire, Head up High, Mercenary Man, Remembered, Circle of Life

This is the fifth album of the greek metal band Firewind. After several line-up changes, Gus G. (guitarist, founding member and frontman) has decided to keep the same team as on Allegiance, their previous release. The Premonition is a solid album firmly anchored in the power metal/melodic metal genre. As such, it brings absolutely nothing new to the table: catchy choruses, double bass drums, a healthy pint of Maiden, a touch of Priest, some Lizzy-esque harmonies here and there. But the songwriting is quite good within the confines of this style, and the guys are obviously very competent musicians. Gus G., in particular, is a top notch metal guitarist. Vocalist Apollo Papathanasio is really convincing too, somewhat evocative of Bruce Dickinson (Remembered). The powerful production follows Fredrik Nordström's usual approach of contemporary eurometal sound, no surprise here either, you know what it's like.

The album starts at full throttle with the speedy Into the Fire, followed by two standout tracks that are more in a classic metal vein: Head up High, and the extremely catchy single Mercenary Man. Other good songs include Remembered and Circle of Life, whose riff reminds me of Accept's Princess of the Dawn. On the downside, there is also a cheesy power ballad (My Loneliness), but since my 7-yr old daughter loves it, it will be fine for me too. What's not so fine is the album running out of steam on the three last tracks (including an annoying cover of the Flashdance song). Overall, out of 10 tracks, I found that 5 are very good, 2 are so-so, and 3 are subpar. That's a more than honorable result, taking into account the fact that I'm not much into power metal.

In conclusion, this is a really enjoyable album, even if it's definitely not a must-have. Power metal fans will surely love it, but it can appeal to a larger audience of old school metal listeners as well.

Overall Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)
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