Review Summary: Firewind return with a fresh sound, and Gus G. shines for once again throughout the whole album, making it quite more interesting than what it would have been without him.
So... for anyone that noticed, it's no coincidence that I decided to write my second review now, since it's for the same band, a year and a half after "Days of Defiance". This time, Firewind managed to serve something fresh. They combined all the previous styles the band had tried in the past and they evolved them into a new, more modern sound.
Mixed by Jason Suecof and Eyal Levi, I felt the americanization running through my veins from the very first moment, when I heard the first two singles. No, I don't mean on the internet, I actually had the luck to hear them live, quite earlier. And while I didn't pay much attention to "Wall of Sound", cause I was in the moshpit, it happened that it was just a "World on Fire" #2, so the studio version didn't impress me either, despite the nice riffs. "Losing My Mind" on the other hand is a quite nice track. Its main ingredient is the word "yeah", just like the other one, but it is very progressive and well composed. My favourite tracks are "Another Dimension", which is the most powerful song of the album, although the chorus gets poppy, and "Glorious", which begins with a strong riff and gradually builds in an interesting way, until the typical Firewind-like chorus. "Long Gone Tomorrow's" riffs remind me of Dream Theater, while the long-awaited collaboration with Apocalyptica, "Edge of A Dream", is an unusual for the band ballad, with a districtive use of guitar in the background.
One of the biggest changes that came with this album is the reduction in the use of keyboards, which in my opinion pays off, as it gives a heavier touch to it. The instrumental work often ressembles Firewind's first albums, but I soon realized it's quite more complex and well executed, with a modern sound whenever it is needed. That's no surprise of course, and we owe it to the charismatic guy named Gus G. Needless to say, the solos won't let you down either. About the other members, Bob Katsionis, as I already noted, mainly deals with the guitar part too, while Johan Nunez, their 6th drummer (!), sounds quite comfortable with the rest of the band and gives his rhythm too. Also, sorry Petros, but I didn't really pay attention to the bass cause bla bla bla and for Apollo Papathanasiou, keep reading.
And now, although I wish I didn't have to write this part, cause I'm a huge fan of Firewind, I like being honest (self compliment) and I will analyze the negative aspects of the album. Like their previous release, many songs seem to lack in catchiness. "Days of Defiance" didn't even offer anything new, as the band tried to create a clone of their mega-success "The Premonition", and while this one is certainly interesting, it doesn't have the sweetness of it either. That could be on purpose, since they wanted something heavier, but the vocals don't help much. Sometimes they are downvolumed, overlayered, or have too many effects, which make them a bit annoying. Don't get me wrong, Apollo is a great singer, it could be just the mix, and appart from the choruses, which are nothing exceptional anyway, his voice generally fits. But still, imagine this outstanding instrumental work with the addition of Stephen Fredrick's ("Between Heaven and Hell", "Burning Earth") powerful vocals...
Anyway, this is a better album than "Days of Defiance", and it incorporates new ideas. Bands' fans will not be dissapointed, but there is room for improvement. It could have been more memorable, and the vocals could have been cleaner and more powerful, which would help to achieve that, supposing they are bored to write more interesting choruses. The strongest part of "Few Against Many" is the guitar work, and I don't wanna take it too far and say it surpasses anything Gus G. has done in the past, but... *** it, I think it does. Just for that, the album is worth listening, and whenever the mix is successful, it gets even more enjoyable.