First and foremost friends, do not sleep on this one. I already knew from the start that Firewind was going to blow me away, because I found their previous output to be quite potent. These guys prove that they can still bring the fire all these years later. The reason that this record is so good, is because it knows what it wants to be and what it wants to offer listeners – quite simply, a record where every song sounds different than the last, but maintains devastating hooks, blazing guitar solos and ultimately ends up on autoplay for hours and hours. Firewind is a disc that demands to be sung along with and possibly even played air guitar along to, not to mention spark up interest in a few air drummers out there. If “Rising Fire” doesn’t get you singing along as you pump your fist in the air, then you’re clearly listening to the wrong album. “Break Away” achieves the same feeling, though I wouldn’t quite as consider it as punchy as the prior cut. “Orbital Sunrise” isn’t quite as straight-forward, but it manages to make it’s point very clear. Obviously, “Longing To Know You” isn’t quite my cup of tea, though I respect the band turning things down a bit for a ballad. The solo section is quite majestic as well, so gotta love that.
However, the song that I loved so much from the first listen and just had to play again was “Perfect Stranger.” This is the kind of thing you’d hear playing in the background of anime clip videos on YouTube back in the day, maybe something from Cowboy Beebop, Berserk or Trigun. Unfortunately, after hearing that one I couldn’t find anything on the disc to top it. Folks, when I think power metal, that is the exact kind of song I’m talking about. Yes, knights and dragons are certainly a thing in this genre, but a piece like that just gets my blood pumping. Now with “Overdrive” we have a DIO meets eighties synth vibe that comes off tremendously well. Songs like this are also why people purchase albums. But you know what else? These guys decided to end the album with three more heavy hitting songs, there are no sappy ballads in sight. Yes, you’re getting “All My Life”, “Space Cowboy” and the killer closing note “Kill The Pain” which has an equally killer solo – so you’re actually going to want to jam the whole record through. Firewind is not an album that wanes easily, which means that you’re going to have a great time with it and it’ll be a great soundtrack for motivation as several people are actually going back to work. Rest assured, you are not going to be disappointed with this effort. Now let me jam “Perfect Stranger” just one more time before moving onto the next review.