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FireForce
March On
May 2011
Released: 2011, 7Hard
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

The Belgian Eric Phillipe is one of my all-time favorite Heavy Metal cover artists. His excellent worked has graced the cover of albums by Rhapsody, Stratovarius, Iron Fire, Iron Mask, Ring Of Fire, TNT, Mob Rules, Riot and dozens more. I don’t think I ever have heard a Metal album that has his cover art that I don’t like. When I saw his instantly recognizable art on the cover of the new Fireforce album MARCH ON, I just knew deep down the music was going to match the awesome cover. Well, he must be my good luck charm because MARCH ON is a wicked little slab of true Metal!



FireForce are also Belgian and this is there debut record and what a way to make an initial impression…by kicking down the doors! MARCH ON is propped by a great cover, great production and great individual performances, but it is the music that is the greatest pleasure here. I know it is a bore to list bands that a new band sounds like, and it can be a lazy writers technique to describe a band, but what the hell Fireforce sounds like Grave Digger, Running Wild, Rebellion, Iron Savior, Gamma Ray and any additional number of third and fourth generation, Germanic, anthemic True Metal bands.



Lyrically the band discusses history and war but aren’t afraid to show their allegiance to the Metal cause with tracks like, ‘Born To Play Metal’. The vocals are sung with power and conviction by Filip Lemmens, whose gruff voice rages through the trenches, doing Generals Dirkschneider, Kasperak and Boltendahl proud. Many of the songs, well actually, most of the songs have a pounding double-kick attack and the whole album is pretty relentless if nothing else. The guitars grind out the riffs and solos like a war-machine on it’s way to victory on the closing instrumental ‘Metal Rages On’.



I’ll never tire of listening to well-executed True Metal. FireForce join a legion of hundreds of bands that embrace the sonic principles of Metal and are on a mission to bring that sound to the world.
Track Listing

1. Coastal Battery
2. The Only Way
3. Firestorm
4. Horus (Bringer Of Order)
5. 1302 - Battle For Freedom
6. Moonlight Lady
7. Annihilation
8. Fly Arrow Fly (Crécy 1346)
9. Mona Lisa
10. Hold Your Ground
11. Born To Play Metal
12. Metal Rages On

Lineup

Filip Lemmens-Vocals
Erwin Suetens-Guitar
Steve Deleu-Guitar
Pat-Bass
Kris De Bie-Drums


Next review: » FireForce - March On
Previous review: » Firebird - Grand Union

FireForce
March On
May 2011
Released: 2011, 7 Hard Productions
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Belgium’s FireForce are brand-spanking new: formed in 2009, the band wasted no time in getting out a self-financed EP called MOONLIGHT LADY the same year. It was impressive enough to secure the band a recording deal (with 7Hard) to release their debut album, MARCH ON.



The album comes wrapped in a fantastically cool/cheesy piece of cover art that recalls Iron Fire. It’s a strong hint that the band is firmly in the power metal camp, and one quick listen to the double-bass assault of the opening song, “Coastal Battery” confirms it. Indeed, the song is everything you expect from today’s power metal with crunchy guitars, thunderous drums and soaring, powerful vocals. This is refreshing as it’s definitely not “symphonic” power metal.



Sadly, the rest of the album struggles to maintain the good impression started by “Coastal Battery”. Don’t get me wrong, this is far from being a bad album, but somehow the all of the great qualities I described don’t gel into a kick as whole. I think it’s the song writing – most of the songs are just bland, riffing along without much creativity. In fact, starting with “Mona Lisa” – which is probably the weakest song on the album – the band basically turns on the autopilot, ending the album with two clichéd, sloganeering “hail to metal!” songs and an instrumental.



For a new band, FireForce is off to a good start. They definitely have the chops and the will to make it, but MARCH ON isn’t quite the album to put them on the forefront of metal. Still, they provide a solid listen and are worth a look for fans of gritty power metal.
Track Listing

1) Coastal Battery
2) The Only Way
3) Firestorm
4) Horus (Bringer of Order)
5) 1302 – Battle for Freedom
6) Moonlight Lady
7) Annihilation
8) Fly Arrow Fly (Crecy 1346)
9) Mona Lisa
10) Hold Your Ground
11) Born to Play Metal
12) Metal Rages On

Lineup

Flype: Vocals
Erwin Suetens: Guitar
Steve Deleu: Guitar
MetalPat: Bass
Tom Heijnen: Drums


Next review: » Firehouse - Bring ‘em out LIVE
Previous review: » Firebird - Grand Union





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