Firewind - Forged by fire 3/5

Reviewed: 4-1-05


1. Kill to live
2. Beware the beast
3. Tyranny
4. The forgotten memory
5. Hateworld hero
6. Escape from tomorrow
7. Feast of the savages
8. Burn in hell
9. Perished en flames
10. Land of eternity
11. Confide

After 2 CDs with Stephen Fredrick (ex Kenziner) as the singer, Firewind replaces him with veteran singer Chity Somapala. This makes for a very different sound to the band because the singers are very different. While Fredrick sang mostly in one tone, Somapala is much more dynamic and has more range to his voice. Led by guitarist Gus G., the rest of the band remains intact and has grown by one with the addition of a keyboard player.

The centerpiece of the CD is the 3rd track, "Tyranny" which is one of the best hard rock tracks I have heard in a long time. It has a relentless beat, great melody and vocals, and a guitar solo that fits into the track perfectly. The rest of the CD is good, with some varying styles, but cannot be considered to be great. There is one instrumental and a couple of ballads. Most of the rest is closer to uptempo hard rock than metal. Some of these tracks, opener "Kill to live" especially, are very good while others range from filler to above average. One thing that's tough to miss on every track is Somapala's voice, the strength of which is clear from the start to the finish of the CD.

This new CD can very much be considered a new band as the change in singers has had a significant effect on the overall sound. Although the old Firewind was good, the band's sound is now more dynamic, exciting and powerful. When the band gets cranked up, they are very, very good but to enter the top echelon of metal bands they need to get their songwriting more consistently excellent and move away from their tendency to have more of a hard rock sound than a metal sound.




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