After many years and a few albums featuring an inconsistent lineup, it seems like Firewind have finally become one of those bands that are consistently putting out worthwhile albums. Beginning with Allegiance, Gus G. and vocalist Apollo Papathanasio have been cranking song after song of classic, memorable power metal. One would think that the band would get stronger over time; however, each album since Allegiance has actually been slightly weaker than the one before it. Thankfully, "Few Against Many" breaks this trend.
On first listen, I have to admit that this album was boring. It definitely takes a while for the subtleties of the melodies to kick in. The album initially seemed so contrived and forced, which made me think the songs were mediocre. With time, however, there were quite a few songs that stood out. Even before mentioning those tracks, there is one song that I loved even on first listen: “Another Dimension”. This song has the thrashiest Firewind riff in existence, and maybe even the thrashiest riff of the year. Seriously, this is what I expected to hear from the new Bonded by Blood record. Even had the rest of the record been a letdown, the opening of this song will force you to bang your head so hard that you’ll forget about the other 9 songs. Moving on to the more predictable Firewind songs, both “Wall of Sound” and “Losing My Mind” are the typical singles you would expect from this band. They aren’t too heavy or too fast, but the choruses will stick with you for hours. Likewise, the title track and “Glorious” are both songs that will stand the test of time. One of the more surprising songs is “Edge of a Dream”, which features the band of cellists, Apocalyptica. Even though it’s a ballad with only lead guitars and no drums, the performance of Apollo on vocals makes it one of the stronger tracks. From this point on, the rest of the album drags. The songs aren’t bad, but they aren’t standouts either. I certainly wouldn’t imagine any of them will make Firewind’s setlist anytime soon.
In the line of Firewind albums, this one may not be the top, but it’s certainly not the bottom either. Chances are, if you liked Days of Defiance, you’ll like this album as well; however, if you are expecting this to be another record like Allegiance or The Premonition, you might be let down. There is one thing that can be said for sure from this record: Firewind has found their sound, and they don’t seem to be changing anytime soon.
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“Wall of Sound”
3.75/5 or 75%
Written by Scott