Published on June 11th, 2020 | by Justin G.
Firewind: Firewind (AFM, 2020)
Another Firewind album, another Firewind vocalist. I was pretty disappointed to hear that Henning Basse wasn’t continuing with Firewind, since the one album he did with them (2017’s Immortals) is one of Firewind’s best and was hoping for more from that lineup. Still, founding guitarist Gus G. has always found strong singers for this band, and Herbie Langhans definitely qualifies. His work in Sinbreed and lately Avantasia made him the perfect choice for Firewind’s brand of melodic power metal.
Firewind’s latest is simply titled Firewind. A self-titled album this far into a band’s career usually means they’re either trying to redefine their sound or trying to get back to their roots. In this case it’s the latter. This album fits perfectly alongside early Firewind albums like Burning Earth and Between Heaven And Hell. Gus G brings his A-game here, serving up his signature riffs and blazing solos, but also killing it with great melodies. Langhans’ vocal melodies are great as well. There’s a gruffness to his voice that brings to mind Ronnie Atkins and even original Firewind singer Stephen Fredrick. metal.
Early singles “Rising Fire” and “Welcome To The Empire” are great examples of the album’s overall sound, and “Orbital Sunrise” and “Perfect Strangers” are also standout tracks. It’s a really strong album overall, especially if you’ve missed that early Firewind sound.
I still think Immortals may be the better album, but Firewind has a lot to love as well. Longtime fans will definitely enjoy it, as should anyone into well-crafted melodic power metal along the lines of Masterplan, Nocturnal Rites and Serious Black.
Summary: New singer, classic sound