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Firewind
Allegiance
September 2006
Released: 2006, Century Media/EMI
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Firewind

Firewind sure works fast; this is their fourth album, and a few changes have been going on in the band. The band leader and guitar genius Gus G. has once again found a new singer, Apollo Papathanasio (ex- Majestic, Time Requiem), and a new drummer, Mark Cross (ex- Helloween, ex- Metalium, At Vance).



I hesitated when I first heard that Apollo had taken over the lead vocals in Firewind because I didn’t thought he was able to sing this kind of music, but as soon as I turned on the album I realized I was totally wrong. It seems like Apollo has found the perfect place for his voice, and he sounds a thousand times better now than he did in Time Requiem, maybe because Gus G. lets Apollo sing in his own way.



On ALLEGIANCE I can sense a slighter change in course for Firewind musically. The power metal influences have been toned down and instead they lean more into a more melodic heavy metal approach even though they still have a few more power but also a few progressive influences in the music. Keyboards have also taken over more space here compared to the previous albums. Firewind recorded ALLEGIANCE in JM Studio and the mixing was done by Gus G. and his old bandmate in Dream Evil Fredrik Nordström. Just like everything else Mr. Nordström has laid his hands on, this is totally brilliant.



Amongst the 11 tracks on ALLEGIANCE there is one instrumental track, “Before the Storm”, where Gus G. shows off his knowledge on guitar, and on the more up-tempo ballad “Deliverance”, it’s time for Apollo to impress the listener. My favorite tracks are the technical melodic heavy metal songs “Allegiance”, “Insanity”, “Falling To Pieces”, “The Essence” and “Where Do We Go From Here?”. “Breaking The Silence” is a duet between Apollo and Tara. It’s a keyboard-based song with a more melodic touch and their voices fit extremely well together, and in the middle of the song Gus G. delivers a totally mind-blowing lead guitar part in a way that only he can do.



If the previous album was a masterpiece, then I don’t really know what to call ALLEGIANCE because it’s even better. Gus G. has taken another step forward towards complete world domination within this genre, and I can’t find anything negative at all, and that’s totally unlike me. It’s good enough just to lean back and enjoy the wonders of Gus G. and his Firewind.



http://www.emi.se
Track Listing

Allegiance
Insanity
Falling To Pieces
Ready To Strike
Breaking The Silence
Deliverance
Till The End Of Time
Dreamchaser
Before the Storm
The Essence
Where Do We Go From Here?

Lineup

Mark Cross – drums
Apollo Papathanasio – lead vocals
Gus G – guitar
Petros Christo – bass
Bob Katsionisos – keyboard


Next review: » Firewind - Allegiance
Previous review: » Fires of Babylon - Fires of Babylon

Firewind
Allegiance
October 2006
Released: 2006, Century Media
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Arto Lehtinen

The Greek/German power metal supergroup, if that term can be used, led by the guitarist wizard Gus G haven’t rested on their laurels even though the line-up underwent some changes since the previous output FORGED BY FIRE. The most interesting thing in the renewed band is Mark Cross behind the drum kit. As for the vocalist thing, it is pretty amazing that Firewind have managed to recruit former Time Requiem and Majestic vocalist Apollo Papathanasio. Therefore, it could be said that this package of FireWind is definitely stronger than ever before. These metallers offer a great deal of well written and produced power metal songs. Actually, the whole album ain’t the purest modern power metal whipping with thunderous double drum works and the vocalist screaming in the upper registers from the beginning to the end. Instead the Greek metallers have adopted the influences from the melodic traditional heavy metal by modifing and composing it to fit to the world of FireWind. Especially the second song "Insanity" has melodic and touchy parts. Each song has its own catchy elements taking a grip on a listener’s taste and mind, not leaving that easily. As stated above, the singer doesn’t scream in the upper register, yes Apollo’s voice was quite different as his voice sounds occasionally quite rough but clean and has a very personal vibe in the tune. For example, having Swedish female guest singer do a duet with the vocalist on “Breaking The Silence” is definitely a nice youch giving some variety. Gus and his fellows have created a nice solid and good metal album to match up to the critical opinions and standards of the world wide metal genre. It is quite obvious Gus’ guitarwork is the main focus on the album, but the man gives nothing but utter high quality with his instrument and therefore the mark of his playing style can be identified easily. ALLEGIANCE is 100% pure heavy metal with well-produced quality metal for all freaks digging this type of metal and the band has the right attitude toward the future.
Track Listing

1. Allegiance
2. Insanity
3. Falling to Pieces
4. Ready to Strike
5. Breaking the Silence
6. Deliverance
7. Till the End of Time
8. Dreamchaser
9. Before the Storm
10. The Essence
11. Where Do We Go From Here?

Lineup

Apollo Papathanasio - Vocals
Gus G - Guitars
Bob Katsionis - Keyboards
Petros Christo - Bass
Mark Cross - Drums


Next review: » Firewind - Apotheosis Live 2012
Previous review: » Fires of Babylon - Fires of Babylon





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