Phenix - Immortal flame 3.5/5

Reviewed: 11-21-08





Tracklist:

1. Immortal flame
2. Mother
3. BBP180800X
4. I8U
5. The prophecy
6. Duty and regrets
7. Rising...
8. ...And falling
9. Fading to grey
10. End of the road
11. After the rain
12. Play my game
13. Any time
14. Burning desire
15. The never-ending journey


Back in 2005 I reviewed the solid 2nd CD 'Wings of fire' from the French band Phenix, and now I've got their 3rd CD 'Immortal flame', which (along with their first 2 CDs) was released through Brennus Music. If you missed my review for 'Wings of fire', know that Phenix plays traditional/heavy metal very much in the style of the 80s. For comparisons, think of Deafening Silence, Fates Prophecy, Hellowed, Miles Beyond, Gods of Fire, Destillery, The Vengeful Few, and so on, but with a dash of Manowar and Majesty.

The 4 years since the release of their previous 'Wings of fire' has obviously allowed the band to improve, as I was immediately pleased with my first few spins of 'Immortal flame', and every spin since then. All of the songs on display here are good, with many of them reaching the point of greatness. The CD is very long at 70 minutes and contains the high amount of 15 tracks, but unlike their previous CD (which is 75 minutes in length), this CD doesn't feel too long. There are a lot of instrumental segments, but they're never boring and instead create an interesting listen that demands your attention.

One thing I really like about this CD is that there are some very good slow songs with the use of an acoustic guitar, and this is something that I don't usually expereince with my listening, as I've almost always got fast-paced power metal spinning. Anyway, the slow songs are well done, and complimented nicely by vocalist Bertrand Gramond (who has been the band's vocalist since the beginning), end up being one of the CD's strong points. Speaking of Bertrand, I should mention that he has a clear voice that's almost completely accent-free (and rarely rough), and he fits this style of music perfectly.

If you're worried there are too many slow songs though, don't be, as there are plenty of upbeat and catchy songs, some terrific guitar solos, and if traditional/heavy metal in the style of the 80s is intriguing, you should be very satisfied with this CD. Especially considering how long this CD is, it's an enjoyable listen throughout and it's easily competitive for the style. Recommended!



CLINT




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