Released: 2008, Century Media/EMI
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Band leader and guitar wizard Gus G is back and Firewind are back with a new album. 2006’s ALLEGIANCE gave the band the success they’d deserved and strived for. A lot of touring across the world followed the release of ALLEGIANCE to promote the band and the album. But with success comes pressure and expectations, and Gus has a lot to prove with THE PREMONITION. The band continues delivering rock-hard modern and melodic heavy metal, but the band has toned down the power metal influences a bit.
Keyboard player Katsionis has been given more space in the mix and there are a bunch of blazing guitar duels between Katsionis (who also plays guitar) and Gus G. Lead vocalist Apollo has grown to become one of the best singers in this genre. He gives a stronger impression and his voice sounds even edgier and rawer than before.
There are 10 tracks featured on this brilliant album, one of which is a cover of the song “Maniac” from the Flashdance sound track which Firewind performs much better than the original act, needless to say. There’s nothing bad about the rest of the songs, either; it’s impossible to pick any favorite tracks amongst all the brilliant ones. The band has improved its writing skills since the last album and I’m blown away by the material and the music on THE PREMONITION.
“Into the Fire”, “Head up High” and “Remembered” are the faster and extremely technical and varied melodic heavy metal songs that sum up the whole album. Then we have “Mercenary Man”, “Angels Forgive Me”, “Circle of Life” and “The Silent Code”, which are slower but still heavy, extraordinary songs. Apollo sings with feeling and passion, especially on the ballad “My Loneliness” where his diversity really shines through.
Firewind manage to make the cover of “Maniac” their own by dressing up the disco tune with heavy metal. The closing song is called “Life Forclosed” which is a mix between a ballad and a melodic heavy metal song. All of the verses are at a ballad tempo and turns into a heavy metal song during the choruses. There’s not a single bad song on the THE PREMONITION – it deserves only the highest rating.
This disc should be the band’s big breakthrough and it takes my breath away when I hear Gus G’s amazing axe-work. He is one of the best guitarists in the world at the moment; he’s managed somehow to surpass himself this time. The band is out on tour in Europe this April/May, so if they’re near you then try to see them live. THE PREMONITION is perfection in its purest form and shape.