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Behind The Mask
Released: 2016, Massacre Records
I can say with confidence that almost every Metalhead on the planet was excited when in 2015 Stormwitch reformed (after a 11 year hiatus) and put out SEASON OF THE WITCH. Well, that might be a mild exaggeration but the few of us old Metalheads thought it was kinda cool. The line-up that recorded that album didn’t last too long as guitarist Ralf Stoney and drummer Micha Kasper broke away to form Fireleaf!
Fireleaf secured a deal with Massacre Records, likely based on the talent and experience of the band. Stoney, the founder of Fireleaf, is a Metalhead from the first wave having done time in Tyran Pace and Kasper also paid his dues in various German bands over the years. After rounded out the line-up, they added a slightly younger vocalist, but powerful Bastian Rose. The guys decided to do something considerably different than the classic Stormwitch sound and it appeared to have worked.
In a brave and ambitious move for a new band their debut BEHIND THE MASK is a concept album that tells the tale of a man descent into insanity. The first thing that struck me was the strong voice and delivery of Rose. His tone is a bit like Warrell Dane and he has a slightly gruffer tone delivering the lyrics with passion and intensity like Zakk Stevens. He is a very strong singer. Musically the band have a darker Power Metal sound with the emphasis on ‘Power’. Even the slower songs like ‘Forgiven’, with it’s gentle, acoustic piano (performed by Rose) are very intense. The guitar tone is very thick and warm, this is not speedy happy Euro Metal. BEHIND THE MASK has a very sense of pace but doesn’t rely on double-kick drum to drive along every track. There is a good mix of fast, and medium songs that are well-arranged and run for an average length except the climatic finale, the title track. The album looks good and sounds good with good loud and clear production they have put together a commendable effort.
Combining the melody and darker power of bands like Sinbreed, Persuader, Brainstorm, and the aforementioned Nevermore, the debut album by Fireleaf is a very worthy debut.
1. Bloody Tears
5. Death Throes
6. The Quest
8. Tales Of Terror
9. King Of Madness
10. Behind The Mask
Bastian Rose - Vocals
Ralf Stoney - Guitar
Aki Reissmann - Guitar
Micha Vetter - Bass
Micha Kasper - Drums
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