Published on January 30th, 2021 | by Justin G.
Bonfire: Roots (AFM, 2021)
German melodic rock veterans Bonfire sure have been busy these past few years. Since vocalist Alexx Stahl joined the band in 2017 they’ve released three full-length albums, a covers album, a live album and now they’re back with a 2-disc acoustic release called Roots. Fortunately, the quality has matched the quantity with these releases, and Roots is no exception.
Bonfire takes an interesting approach with Roots. It’s not the usual live acoustic performance recorded for release, but rather a “mostly acoustic” studio project that reimagines several of Bonfire’s best-known songs as well as some of their newer favorites. Yes, it’s pretty ballad-heavy, but it also has some notable rockers like “Ready 4 Reaction” and “American Nights.”
Acoustic albums tend to be fairly predictable, but Roots has a unique vibe. Part of that is due to it being a studio work, and part is due to it not being entirely acoustic (the electric guitar solos are tasteful and fit the overall approach perfectly). Bonfire skips the MTV Unplugged aesthetic and goes for their own unique atmosphere. And it pays off. It tells you something when a laid-back project like this can run two full discs without getting boring.
Roots is both new and familiar at the same time, and is surprisingly powerful for this kind of thing. If you were worried Bonfire might phone it in, or that this was just a quickie to fulfil a contract obligation, worry no more. Roots is a real treat for Bonfire fans, both new and old.
Summary: Mostly acoustic, completely cool