Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Banner Top

Label: AFM Records

Date: March 1st, 2024

Once upon a time in Thessaloniki, Kostas Karamitroudis, a musical genius, guitar hero, one of the best (if not the best) guitar virtuoso of new generation, after dropping out Berkley, recorded a demo with a little help of friends with the aim to show the world his talent and withdraw the attention of possible labels. The demo caught the attention of David T. Chastain, the owner of Leviathan Records. Kostas Karamitroudis, converted to Gus G, named his band Firewind after the album “Fire Wind” by Uli Jon Roth’s Electric Sun. His enormous talent not just that was not wasted but multiplied. Fredrik Nordström, who had met Gus while on vacation in Greece, had an idea about his own band and Dream Evil was born. Soon, Gus had an offer to join Nightrage and Mystic Prophecy. Generous Gus, who was putting others in front of his own career, remained in touch with Leviathan with an idea to record the album where he would write all the music. “Between Heaven And Hell” was released in 2022 and here we could say: rest is history… And the history lasts over 25 years.

On March 1st, 2024, Firewind will release their tenth studio album “Stand United”. This is the second album with singer Herbie Langhans. As Gus said:

Herbie has an incredibly multi-faceted voice that complements our songs perfectly. He also has a great deal of experience in this industry. This combination makes it easier for me to develop the right songs for Firewind while keeping an eye on the business side of things.”

Although the album will be released in March, Firewind launched the first single “Destiny is Calling” in February 2023. “Salvation Day”, “Fallen Angel”, “Come Undone“ and “Chains” followed.

As the album title suggests, the main idea is pointed to the current situation. Album is inspired by political situations, wars, the pandemic and natural disasters. Although primarily the album was inspired by the war between Russia and Ukraine, it could be also referred to any other war, and at the moment we have to many of those.

Mid-tempo dominates on the album, but the band will “surprise” you. Of course, if you expect melodic parts, you will get it. If you expect speed, you will get it too (“Stand United” has killer drumming parts). “Destiny is Calling” with its groove and “Fallen Angel” are my absolute favourites. “Fallen Angel” stands out with amazing melody, rhythm, power in both, musical and lyrical domain, and also in backing vocals. “Chains” and “Talking in Your Sleep” are one of those songs with nostalgic vibes that you simply love or hate. I love it. The first one will remind you of Judas Priest and “Talking in Your Sleep” is a cover version of The Romantics. Released in 1983, the song was brought back to life, refreshed and polished by Firewind and now it can continue its life. “The Power Lies Within” is the song with the catchiest chorus. For all of you who cannot tolerate keyboards, probably you will not like “Come Undone” where keyboards are maybe too much in use.

“Land of Chaos” offers to die for guitar intro and solo, excellent drumming, while vocals are heavier here. This is traditional metal and maybe the most energetic song on the album. 

And the last song on the album is “Days of Grace” which closes the album perfectly. The acoustic guitar intro stands out and here you can fully experience Herbie’s vocal range. 

If you add catchy choruses, amazing guitar solos on massive guitar riffs, you will get a great portion of hooks and twists. Hard rock meets power metal formula gets the best result this time.

Whether you are a fan of hard rock or power metal, Firewind has found a way to make a perfect blend of these two genres and make them relatable for fans. What I always notice when I listen to Firewind, in addition to indisputably enormous talent and experience that many would envy is that they play with heart and soul, passionately and with love.

This album is a nice trip to the epoch of metal when I was forming my musical taste rummaging through my grandfather’s music collection. 

In the documentary movie “Life Through Fire”, Gus said:

“I wanted my riffs heavy, but my solos always melodic. But I’d also love them to have aggression and nerve.” And that is exactly what he does.

Banner Content
Tags: , ,