Forged By Fire
(Magick Records) Enslain Magazine Volume 2, Issue 1 "Forged by Fire" is the third release by this power metal project. Firewind is the main band of young Greek guitar phenom Gus G, who is best known for his previous work with Dream Evil. His other projects include the melodic death metal band Nightrage, and another power metal project named Mystic Prophecy. You may have also seen Gus at Ozzfest 2005, touring with Arch Enemy as their interim guitarist. In just a few years, this guy has climbed up through the scene and has already placed himself in the category of truly admirable musicians.
His mastery of the guitar is evident throughout this record. There's nothing watered down; it's a full-on attack of blazing guitar solos, harmonics, and dual-powered harmonies, with well-placed intricate strumming and melodic interludes. Although Gus can shred with the best of them, some of the most striking solos on here are the ones contributed by guest musicians James Murphy and Marty Friedman. There is a definite old-school arena rock influence on the entire album (that you would think was before his time), but some of the resulting songs have an Iced Earth sort of vibe, while others incorporate more of the Gothenburg-styled riffs and arrangements. Vocalist Chity Somapala (who has since left the project) adds the finishing stroke to the band with his range-capable yet not overindulgent power metal voice. The engineering at Studio Fredman brings together all these elements nicely.
Even with your hallmark power-ballads like "Hate World Hero", and "Land of Eternity", there's a lack of the cheesiness we've come to expect from the genre. In fact, the entire album manages to keep a respectable modern technical metal sound throughout, without resorting to any cheapness. Gus and company have churned out yet another impressive release, and fans of power metal and guitar rock alike will enjoy this album.