Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Another good amongst many. - 81%

hells_unicorn, July 2nd, 2012

If one could sum up Firewind in a single word, it would be consistent. Since Gus G. first created the project as a means to promote his virtuosic chops and seminal songwriting, it has grown into something of an institution on the Greek side of classic heavy metal. There are few surprises, few deviations outside of a template that’s been fairly common since the mid 80s, put forth by the likes of Stormwitch, Accept and Judas Priest with an eye toward heaviness, brevity meshed with technical flair, and a catchy sensibility that keeps it very accessible. Historically the easiest way to tell Firewind albums apart was by who was doing lead vocals, but since 2006 when the project was moved back to Gus’ native Greece; it has become a bit more difficult, due in no small part to the fondness to the same guitar and production quality exhibited by the bandleader in question.

As the seventh effort out of the band and the 4th since their lineup reached a strong level of stability, “Few Against Many” does little to differentiate itself from the pack in regards to previous efforts under the Firewind name, and yet it stands very well on its own. Perhaps the biggest switch up since “Days Of Defiance” is a slightly more speed metal oriented songwriting approach that hearkens slightly to Gus’ brief stint with Mystic Prophecy. “Wall Of Sound”, “Few Against Many” and “Long Gone Tomorrow” all exude that maddened fury often heard out of Primal Fear, drawing forth a slight “Painkiller” edge, yet also being tempered with a very easy to follow melody line in the vocals. “Another Dimension” is basically borderline thrash metal, firing off at full speed and despite being built of only 4 principle riffs and sticking to a very consistent tempo, shows Gus at his best riff-wise, combining the best elements of Dave Mustaine and Zakk Wylde.

Apart from these 4 wild speeders, the template largely remains unchanged from the last couple albums. Apollo’s vocals are still a seasoned blend of David Coverdale and Sammy Hagar, often coming off more as yelling that outright singing, but filling up the arrangement with its power in a mostly 1 dimensional fashion. Perhaps a slight increase in keyboard presence is felt from time to time as Bob Katsionis gets a few areas to emulate Jens Johannsen and others to all but impersonate Jon Lord’s fondness of rock organ additives. There’s a weak link in the lone full ballad “Edge Of A Dream” which all but degenerates into sappy, post-Beatles territory like a number of recent Ozzy Osbourne ballads, but most of what is presented comes in the form of slower groove driven rockers and half-ballads that are respectably catchy and loaded with fancy guitar elements.

This isn’t quite the best thing that Gus G. has ever put out, nor is it by any standard the worst, it’s mostly on and when it isn’t, it succeeds in being adequate regardless. Any aspiring guitar player who also gets a healthy diet of power metal will want to have most if not all of his work, and Firewind generally tends to be a bit showier than his recent work with Ozzy, though still very easy to digest. All other old school metal junkies might be better served by going either to “The Premonition” or right back to the beginning with “Between Heaven And Hell” before this one, but there isn’t really a wrong album to start with in this band. Indeed, the biggest draw to this band is also the most commonly cited gripe about them, they’re literally consistent to a fault.