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Released: 2011, 7 Hard Productions
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.
1) Coastal Battery
2) The Only Way
4) Horus (Bringer of Order)
5) 1302 – Battle for Freedom
6) Moonlight Lady
8) Fly Arrow Fly (Crecy 1346)
9) Mona Lisa
10) Hold Your Ground
11) Born to Play Metal
12) Metal Rages On
Erwin Suetens: Guitar
Steve Deleu: Guitar
Tom Heijnen: Drums
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