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Phenix - Wings of fire 3/5

Reviewed: 4-1-05


1. The pilgrimage
2. Babylon
3. Firewings
4. Trial by fire
5. The fifth dimension
6. Still of the night
7. Blood in the arena
8. Rebellion
9. Still believe
10. Time to live
11. The last ride
12. Guardians of metal
13. The quest goes ever on...

Here we have the 2nd CD from the heavy metal band Phenix, courtesy of Brennus Music. I know a lot of fans are really going to dig this, but it sits right on the border of my tastes. I can only handle heavy/melodic metal bands if the songs have decent pace and very good choruses. The majority of the CD does offer this, as they occasionally reach the heaviness and speed of bands like Burning Point, Black Majesty and Inner Wish. Some of the songs are more in the traditional metal vein though, with bands like Manowar, Running Wild and Majesty coming to mind.

I can say right away that track 12 "Guardians of metal" is my favorite! A song reminiscent of better and catchier Manowar, or anything from Majesty. The cover of Whitesnake's "Still of the night" is pretty good, but songs like track 5 "The fifth dimension" and track 8 "Rebellion" will definitely appeal to others more than myself, as speed and excitement is what I seek. Although it's very lengthy (clocking in at over 17 minutes), the final track "The quest goes ever on..." is excellent, and it doesn't feel like the song is this long when it's all said and done. Unfortunately though, this takes the total running time to a massive 75 minutes! Way too long for any CD these days.

There are going to be many heavy metal fans that are really going to appreciate this CD and I'm surprised at how much I like it, considering it's not one of my favorite styles. But with enough speed, some highlights, and a great nod to the heavy metal days of old, this band has come out with a really good CD. So even though I sit on the front row of the symphonic power metal bandwagon, it's nice to see a band stay true to the heavy metal roots.




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