Fireforce - 'Deathbringer' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/4d/19/8d/fireforce-deathbringer-56-1419197206.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 21, 2014    
 
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If this was the new Priest album, Heavy Metal fans would be buying it in their hundreds and thousands.

I must admit there are some excellent (relatively) new Heavy Metal bands out there in Europe these days. The latest discovery for me is this mob from Antwerp, Belgium. Billed as “Combat Power Metal” (yes, quite…), they write about war and combat and tend to dress in combat fatigues with militaristic stage props which, as far as gimmicks go, hasn’t been seen much since Udo Dirkschneider parted ways with Accept , so they do have a niche.

A four song EP, (‘Moonlight Lady’) was released in the spring of 2009 and was primarily used for promotion which got them a deal for their first album ‘March On’. Released in 2011, the European press afforded it high praise which enabled Fireforce to tour alongside the likes of Tokyo Blade, Crimson Glory, Avantasia and Tygers Of Pan Tang. Following this, Yves Vermeersch (guitar) replaced Steve Deleu and alongside new drummer Christophe De Combe, bassist Geert Van Dyck and founding members guitarist Erwin Suetens and vocalist Filip ‘Flype’ Lemmens, they recorded this sophomore effort.

Bristling with killer riffs and high energy this is no nonsense Heavy Metal at its finest. Heavily influenced by Judas Priest there is more than a nod to more modern purveyors like Hammerfall.

The title track is fast paced with intense drumming and melodic soloing whilst ‘Highland Charge’ features heavy melodic riffing. No doubt ‘Combat Metal’ is their “signature battle song” and generates a crowd sing-along in the live arena but its not generic Metal in the fullest sense as the two guitarists, very much in the vein of Tipton/Downing, play fast arpeggio solos to spice it up.

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‘Thunder Will Roll’ is full of powerful riffing and drums and ‘To The Battle’ is very much like ‘Combat Metal’ with its sing-along battle cry – fierce, aggressive Heavy Metal full of strong riffs and with a great solo.

The closest Fireforce come to Power Metal is in the song ‘Words Of Hatred’ and ‘King Of Lies’ is as close to Priest as possible without being plagiarists with its intense riffing and piercing higher Halford-esque vocals.

Fireforce seem quite keen on Egyptian history as they write about the Goddess Sekhmet in the melodic ‘Sekhmet – Warrior Goddess’ and Anubis in the riff-tastic ‘Anubis –Lord Of The Dead’ where vocalist Lemmons pulls off some high screams reminiscent of Dream Evil’s Niklas Isfeldt on the song ‘The Book Of Heavy Metal’. They also do a faithful cover of Tygers’ ‘Gangland’ that sounds sonically better due to the more modern production.

To sum up, not only is Fireforce a fantastic name for a Metal band, but if this was the new Priest album, Heavy Metal fans would be buying it in their hundreds and thousands!

Carl Buxton

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