It’s a very good thing to know that Gus G’s new gig as an OZZY guitarist hasn’t changed the way he handles his own band FIREWIND. This band was always been one of those underrated Power Metal acts that deserved more recognition than they received and with Gus G’s new role with OZZY and their latest record, “Days Of Defiance,” let’s hope that more eyes and ears are being pulled in their direction.
Although not their best release, FIREWIND does it again by giving it their all on another solid melodic and high energy album. “Days Of Defiance” utilizes the genre nicely by giving that sleek and modern sound on the Speed Metal foundations that bands like GAMMA RAY and HELLOWEEN patented. With its rapid fire and flourished drumming that keeps up the energy and its balance of fist-pumping riffs and lightning shred leads and solos, this is FIREWIND doing what they do best. They throw in acoustic breaks (“The Ark Of Lies”) and keyboard driven ballads (“Embrace The Sun”) to diversify the style of the album like they always do. This is just another classic FIREWIND release through and through.
Despite all of these solid aspects for “Days Of Defiance,” this album does suffer a bit from that album killer: the filler. The songs tend to run together to make it a rather unmemorable listen after the album is done. Even with its multitudes of catchy choruses and air instrument inducing guitar and keyboard melodies, some of the tracks just lack the punch to last in the memory. Even their vocalist Apollo Papathanasio gives a mixed performance of quality and heart considering how solid he became on “The Premonition.”
FIREWIND still remains a largely underrated act and “Days Of Defiance” has plenty of great aspects to make it one of the better Power Metal releases that hit us in 2010. It suffers a bit from the filler and mediocrity of diversity, but still gives us a solid release. It’s definitely not one of their best, see their previous release “The Premonition” for that, but it’s a solid effort and worth the purchase for fans.
Songs to check out: “Heading For The Dawn,” “The Ark Of Lies,” “Skg.”
(Online March 20, 2011)