Wow! That's a damn great cover, good God! Rainer Kalwitz, man, a masterpiece, that way you'll catch me any time! No, no blood, not inverted crosses or dripping gore, just a clear and great drawing.
And the music? Can it compete? Yup, absolutely! It is - Power Metal. Yes, Power Metal, but not the usual stuff, more guitar-oriented, no keyboards, no big, catchy choirs, but altogether a bit heavier, more powerful. And the rougher, but still very melodic voice plays quite a big role in that, too.v But who the hell are FIREWIND anyway? Gus G, born in Greece, now residing in American Georgia, known from MYSTIC PROPHECY, DREAM EVIL, among others, here also the sole song-writer (music-wise) on the guitars. Stephen Fredrick of KENZINER-fame as vocalist, drummer Brian Harris (KENZINER, ZANISTER, VAINGLORY) plus yet unknown Konstantine, so as you can see, no greenhorns.
Musically we get an excellent mixture of the European and the American sound of Power Metal, which sets free a tremendous amount of power, which definitely is further enhanced by the clear and powerful production by David D. Chastain, which emphasises very well what defines the FIREWIND-sound.
Gus G's guitar-wizardry and shredding riffs are the pillars of the compositions, which belie the youngster's mere 21 years of age, together with Fredrick's trademark voice, which masterfully combines the roughness and melody. Blazing opener "Between Heaven And Hell" is a blistering example of the band's sound and songs like "Warrior", "Destination Forever" with its great melodyline in the chorus or the furious "Firewind Blazing", every one of them great tracks that really manage to stand out from the majority of current Power Metal-releases.
So even if you normally do not like the so-called "Happy Metal", you should at least check out FIREWIND's debut, it definitely is worth it! (Online October 31, 2002)