Firewind
The Premonition


4.0
excellent

Review

by Greg Viessman USER (44 Reviews)
July 21st, 2008 | 51 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: What is mostly average, yet catchy, instrumentation is saved heroically by the amazingly strong vocals of Apollo Papathanasio. This turns out to be a surprise for 2008.

The realm of power metal has been one of easy predictions. The tempo is supposed to be fast paced and the guitars are supposed to be playing at one hundred miles an hour. The vocalist is supposed to have a higher tone in his voice. More recently, (the past ten years or so) keyboards have also played a major role in the experience of power metal. Every now and then, a band comes along and brings a refreshing mood to the whole genre. This band is Firewind.

Firewind started out as a band in 1998. This was the brain child of guitarist Gus G. At first, it took the side project as Gus was working with Dream Evil. As soon as Gus left the band, Firewind really took off. With the release of their first three albums, Gus really put his flagship band in the confines of typical, yet bland and boring power metal. There wasn’t really any innovation to the music and each album had a decent tune or two. In 2006 though, Firewind got their fourth vocalist in Apollo Papathanasio. Allegiance rleased that year, and Firewind showed that potential they built inside of themselves. The prime example is the fantastic Breaking the Silence. So after hearing Allegiance at the end of last year, I was looking forward to their new album which was to be released in March of 08. When that time rolled around and I listened to it on my mp3 player, I wasn’t that blown away. Two weeks later, and dozens of multiple listens, The Premonition has proven to me why it is one of the best records of the year.


Listening closely to this record, some may be baffled on why this is receiving a 4. The guitars aren’t the most amazing thing ever; neither are the rest of the instruments. What sticks out though, is the vocals of Apollo. His smooth, yet unyielding, vocals make him one of the best in this genre. Another positive is that this record didn’t sound at all cheesy. I don’t feel like a dork when I listen to this record. A main reasoning behind that is the lyrical content. Take a look at the opening of Circle of Life for a brief second.
Tears of rage
Have fallen of my face
I cannot hide
My dreams keep holding me tight”
This shows a vulnerability not seen much in power metal. Add Apollo’s strong emotion he exuberates throughout the song, and you got one of the better songs on the album. Every single performance seems like he is giving 110%. In Remember he gives his best vocal performance to date with Firewind. The inspirational lyrics and the changes from a lower tone spoken verse to that high emotional state give me chills and goose bumps everytime.

None of this would be possible without the direction of Gus G. He writes the majority of the songs, and does he know how to write catchy power metal songs. There is no negativity towards the catchiness of any of the songs on here. Each song is either fully catchy, or contains a moment that made my eyebrows rise in interest. Take single Head Up High for example. That great opening guitar riff is present throughout the whole song. The song has a great attractive chorus as well. It even has a solo that shows Dragonforce how it’s done to play guitar fast, but effective.

After all of these positives, there has to be a negative, and there is one. Everything is catchy and produced and executed well, but it doesn’t have the it factor as the other classic albums out there. Some riffs sound rehashed and there is a song that I personally don’t like in The Silent Code. Apollo gives his usual great performance, but it’s just meh. Thankfully that song is positioned in between Circle of Life and the magnificent cover of Maniac. Looking at the tracklisting, this may seem out of place, but in fact it isn’t. At first, I didn’t think of Flashdance when I thought of Firewind, but they perform is brilliantly. Babis Katsionis gets his biggest role on the entire album (it’s 80s synth pop for crying out loud) and shows that he can be a major part of a song. Life Forclosed ends this record in a slow tempo affair. The soaring riffs of Gus to add with the heavenly vocals of Apollo give The Premonition a nice swan song

Firewind’s The Premonition is one of my favorite records of 2008. This has everything a power metal fan would drool over. The guitars play a respectable part because Gus G knows that putting the guitars at the center isn’t always a good thing. Every now and then we get a solo, and when it does occur, it’s nice. The rest of the instruments play a rhythm role (exception of Maniac), and that is normal for power metal. The highlight is easily Apollo. His powerful vocal ability embraces the entire music into one big fixation and kicks the living snot out of the vocals of ZP Theart and Fabio Lionne. Power Metal is all about being powerful, epic, and metal, this shows all three traits.



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user ratings (123)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
OllieS (3.5)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Poet
July 21st 2008


5935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've wanted to write this since April. Just finally got to it lol. I can understand if people may not think this is a fantastic review, I may have rushed it a bit.

Hawks
July 21st 2008


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is probably the best power metal album that I have. Good review.

Shoot Them
July 21st 2008


81 Comments


His vocals are good enough to bring a 2.5 to a 4.5?

I got to listen to this now.

Poet
July 21st 2008


5935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol I said mostly average instrumentation. Gus G is a hell of a guitar player and does show it on here. Apollo's vocals to the instrumentation gave this a 1.5 boost from me.

Shoot Them
July 21st 2008


81 Comments


Oh my bad. Still if the vocals are that good, I got to listen.

Good review.

Otisbum
July 21st 2008


1912 Comments


Completely forgot about this. Thankfully it's already on SpiralFrog.

Lunarfall
July 21st 2008


3179 Comments


Fine, I'll listen, but it better not be crap like Firewind's other albums.

Poet
July 22nd 2008


5935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah for more people not listening to this.

Altmer
July 24th 2008


5652 Comments


album is boring

Poet
July 24th 2008


5935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you think this band is boring

BallsToTheWall
July 25th 2008


44789 Comments


Congrats on C.B, reminds me of that little bit on my After Forever review. Time goes by fast when you're not having fun. Nice review, Maniac is great.

Digging: Pink Turns Blue - If Two Worlds Kiss

Hawks
July 28th 2008


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Love this album. Definitnely the best power metal that I have. Into the Fire is a great opener.
This Message Edited On 07.28.08

TeamExcelcior
July 28th 2008


246 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Saw these guys live and they were so awesome I picked up the CD and was sadly disappointed. Good riffing but it gets old by about the third track in my opinion. Plus they covered "Maniac" which sends thunderous shivers down my spinal cord. It hurts.

cleary21
July 31st 2008


671 Comments


i just started listening to this and its nothing short of epic, which is what Ive expected of power metal nowadays. Ill rate it later, cause im only on the fourth track

Hawks
July 31st 2008


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Its not really epic. Just really good. Sagas is epic.

soneast
August 2nd 2008


4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

He does sound pretty good but I still think Pasi Rantanen from Thunderstone sounds better. Very good album though.

Lunarfall
August 10th 2008


3179 Comments


This isn't good. Even Stratovarius makes better music than these guys.

Poet
August 10th 2008


5935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Stratovarius is so bad.

Hawks
August 21st 2008


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm really loving this album right now. Been listening to it every day for about a week now.

Nightsbane
September 11th 2008


15 Comments


[Quote=hey 143]This isn't good. Even Stratovarius makes better music than these guys.[/Quote]They did. it's called Visions.

I saw this band twice live. "If generic power metal" was in the dictionary this band would have their picture next to it. Just a really bad band. As much attention as Gus gets he sure can't solo worth a s***. Never mind his songwriting "prowess", if he has any.



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