Review 2098 : Firewind – Stand United – English

Firewind has your back with its new album.

Formed in 1998 by guitarist Gus G. (ex-Dream Evil, ex-Mystic Prophecy, ex-Nightrage, ex-Ozzy Osbourne), the band, completed by Petros Christo (bass), Jo Nunez (drums, Dragonland, Lords of Black, ex-Kamelot, ex-Nightrage) and Herbie Langhans (vocals, The Lightbringer of Sweden, Radiant, ex-Sinbreed), is releasing Stand United, its tenth album, on AFM Records.

The album opens with Salvation Day, a composition with a relatively modern approach to solid catchy Heavy Metal, where Gus G‘s leads fly freely between the motivating vocal parts. The musicians let loose one last time after an epic solo, then they return with eponymous track Stand United to full speed while placing more piercing parts, creating a contrast with the unifying chorus and heady melodies that will also be found on Destiny is Calling, where keyboards take on a more prominent role. While some passages are raw and solid, others are resolutely more danceable, notably during the final choruses that carry us away on The Power Lies Within, a slightly heavier composition that reveals groovy effective Old School roots, sometimes tinged with a soothing hint of dissonance. Modernity resurfaces with the keyboards of Come Undone, which also plays with catchy riffs and powerful vocals to get our skulls shaking, before softening once more on Fallen Angel, the next track. Power Metal’s melodic roots coupled with the jerky basis are perfectly exploited, as are the soaring vocals found on Chains, which comes close to Power Ballad in its gentleness and melancholy harmonics. Land of Chaos returns to a more aggressive sound, while the vocalist easily carries us away with his performance, even verging on saturation on the break, before returning to a more accessible, heady sound on Talking In Your Sleep, reminiscent of 80s Hard Rock. The festive accents give way to Days Of Grace, the final Power Ballad, where bass and drums provide a reassuring rhythmic backdrop to the guitar’s melancholy leads, before energizing on the choruses.

Firewind‘s career is long, but it never falters. Stand United once again explores the band’s Heavy, Power and Hard Rock roots, giving pride of place to leads and motivating vocal parts. The band knows exactly what it’s doing, and does it well.


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