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Spark The Lights And Feel The Fire! - 91%

CHAIRTHROWER, June 24th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2014, CD, Pure Underground Records

Except for the darkness cast by the Third Reich in the 30s and 40s, Germany has always been considered a fine purveyor of top quality craft as well as enlightened culture, and alongside fellow contemporary stalwart Blackslash, Forensick and its highly touted sophomore release, The Prophecy, released in 2014 by Pure Underground Records, does an excellent job of upholding this sentiment.

This highly polished and refined production triumphantly gets off the ground with "Hero Of The Day", a soaring track worth replaying for the intensity of its vocals and lead guitar work alone. With this in mind, the quintet from Horb am Neckar and Baden-W├╝rttemberg wastes no time in showcasing its strengths while honourably paying image to the stark horror perpetrated by Middle Age witch hunts and its unjust persecutions.

Worthy of immediate mention is Forensick's front man, Tobias Hubner, who gives operatic singers such as Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford a good run for their money as he reaches astounding heights with his intense high-pitch vocalizations. He truly shines throughout this release, fitting the bill like no other. As for the rest of the band, accolades are merited throughout the board, from the blazing twin guitar duo of Stephan Vogt and Matthias Ehmig to the rock solid battery comprised of bassist Andreas Armbruster and drummer Julian Rocco Lepore. One aspect of the CD booklet I really appreciate is the lead guitar breakdown where each solo's author is duly outlined for the listener. From this one could deduce the pair of axe men as "fire" and "ice" respectively. Everything from the album's production to packaging is highly professional; one look at the studio and photography sessions confirms this.

Do I have any complaints to bring forth in regards to this luxurious affair? My only one is the fact the best songs of the album were uploaded to youtube prematurely, their being "Hero Of The Day", "Doomsday Machine" (by golly, the solo at its inception is simply outstanding!) and the title track, the nine-minute long epic, "The Prophecy". OK, maybe the pseudo ballad, "Lonesome Words" lacks bite but still, credit must be given to the Germans for having created a well-rounded and versatile release as compelling as their hard-hitting self-titled debut from 2012 (and how can you not dig the wicked cover art?!)

Don't get me wrong though; tracks such as "Dark Secret", "Time of Resistance", "When The War Begins" and another favourite of mine, "New Reality" are totally worth their salt and make this release an outlying success when all is said and done. By all means, order this album if you can! It's not cheap but totally worth the money, especially if you're a lead guitar aficionado such as myself.