I once met a guy about two decades ago, we were young and we loved football and as result we once ended up playing for the same team. This guy had told me about his love for music and especially hard rock and heavy metal. This guy could play Malmsteen’s songs at the age of twelve flawlessly and once we got lost for many years, I learned that he went to America in order to fulfill his dream. This old friend got recognised for his talent and eventually became one of the hottest names in the guitar world. It’s strange enough to start like this but I think I owe him at least that, for the old times’ shake. The guy I always knew as Kostas, became Gus G. and after his first efforts with Dream Evil, it was clear that he would make something of his own. The fact that at the current moment he’s also Ozzy’s guitarist is as important as also irrelevant, for he surely deserved it and on the other hand, he could never achieve anything less than that.
I remember him once giving me a promo of the ‘’Nocturnal Symphony’’ album, the first unofficial Firewind release, which gave me the chills (it is most likely he’s going to kill me for saying that, as he never thought it was something representative of his talent) and then my interest for his new band started. Through the years, Firewind have managed to become the group with an amazingly succesful momentum following them, they took advantage of it through the years and the result was what we have all witnessed on their albums. Their rumor grows still, their skills as players individually are nominable, there’s nothing really to discuss about the past, so things are going to focus on their latest release ‘’Few Against Many’’. To be honest with you, I really like all their albums, including the one mentioned above also (sorry Gus, first love is always on our minds ‘till the end). This specific release though, is surely my favourite of all Firewind albums.
Maybe because of the heaviness and simplicity of most of the tracks, or maybe because I consider that this is the sound I’d always like to hear from them, ‘’Few Against Many’’ got my attention rapidly and it grows within the listenings. Without space for proof to anyone for the reasons mentioned above, Firewind sound so loose and cool on this album, so fresh and confident about the result of the album, that the eleven tracks included are a great sum of ideas full of point which lead to a remarkable outcome in the end. Like I said before, it is surely the heaviest album of the band, bringing out a side of Firewind we were trying to imagine and it just became reality. And guess what, if fuckin’ suits them perfectly, in such a way that I personally want them to go on like this on the future (quite unlikely to happen, but you can never know what may happen in the end, right?) as I think they can make even better stuff than ‘’Few Against Many’’ (though at the current moment, I find it hard as I’m still under the influence of the compositions).
With a track like ‘’Wall Of Sound’’ opening the album, believe me, you’ll end up with a big smile from the first minute until the end of the last track. A sound approaching the heavy NON progressive side of Dream Theater or Symphony X (masturbating solos NOT included) which sets the tone for the next tracks. Exceptional guitar work, steady rhythm section as always (the new drummer kicks serious ass and maybe is one more reason why the band sounds so fresh) and heroic merciless battles between the guitars and keyboards like on ‘’Losing My Mind’’ for example are the background for Apollo Papathanasio to express himself in his best performance ever (on a Firewind album at least, I remind you of his amazing first effort with Spiritual Beggars two years ago on ‘’Return To Zero) and all bandmates sound so tight and united in this album that it really gets easy for the listener to understand that there must have been a great mood during the recordings.
To not become tiring, I must state that all songs are great and I am not going to mention some specific of them as I consider it will be unfair for the rest. Apocalyptica give their help on ‘’Edge Of A Dream’’ and on the limited edition you’ll find a great acoustic version of ‘’No Heroes, No Sinners’’ which will make you wonder if you prefer it from the original version, they are both great. ‘’Few Against Many’’ is a dream album for the band, these tracks are made to be played LIVE and they will gain a lot of positive comments even from people unfamiliar with the group. I think it’s the biggest chance for them to make an even larger opening to the American market and sell thousands of copies (why not millions also), with an album that’s not as commercial as someone may think, it’s clearly the opposite and it can work equally good as a whole and each track separately. I think that Firewind may be a band of few persons but with this album, I don’t know if there will be many against them. Without any second thought, it is for me the best album in their career so far, concerning sound and compositions and surely one of the ten best for 2012 for the time being.
|Track List||Line Up|
01. Wall Of Sound
02. Losing My Mind
03. Few Against Many
04. The Undying Fire
05. Another Dimension
07. Edge Of A Dream
09. Long Gone Tomorrow
10. No Heroes, No Sinners
12. No Heroes, No Sinners (Acoustic)
|Gus G. – lead guitar
Petros Christodoulidis – bass
Bob Katsionis – rhythm guitar, keyboards
Apollo Papathanasio – lead vocals
Johan Nunez – drums
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Location: Gagarin 205 Club, Athens, Greece
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