Bonfire - 'Temple Of Lies'

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Bonfire - 'Temple Of Lies'

Last time, I commented that this line-up of Bonfire were very close to recording a classic album. This isn't it, but for sure it is coming.

Bonfire really surprised me with their last album 'Byte The Bullet', their first with new vocalist Alexx Stahl. I was sure the new Claus Lessmann/Michael Voss-fronted Phantom V would piss all over anything founder Hans Ziller put together. However, Phantom's collection of mid-paced, plodding songs was a supreme disappointment, while Bonfire's collection of racing rockers, delightful ballads, and everything in between easily won the day.

This new album serves up more of the same; though if I'm brutally honest, I don't think it's as good. Stahl still proves what a wonderfully diverse vocalist he is; the opening title track coming on like Judas Priest/Accept, before delivering a prime-time Helloween chorus. Fantastic stuff, even if it sounds nothing like Bonfire. The following track, the wonderful 'Wings Of An Angel', features a vocal that is pure Lessmann, as does the ballad 'Comin' Home'.



Elsewhere, 'Feed The Fire' has a cool opening and verses, reminding me of Accept's 'Feelings', but then blows it on the boring, clichéd chorus - rhyming fire with Bonfire and higher? Really?! 'Stand Or Fall' is another great up-tempo song, as is 'Fly Away' with its keyboard-driven, bouncy summer-time vibe. The album closes with the ultra-melodic 'Crazy Over You', which I have heard described as the bastard son of 'Sweet Obsession'. It certainly does pluck those memory strings on the intro, but come the chorus, we are deep in classic Wig Wam territory as the song mirrors 'Gonna Get You Some Day' from the classic 'WigWamania' album; but it's still a great song, and I would love to hear more like this, if a little less derivative. The production is excellent, overseen by Ziller himself, who plays his guitar throughout like a young upstart with something to prove.

Last time, I commented that this line-up of Bonfire were very close to recording a classic album. This isn't it, but for sure it is coming.

Bruce Mee

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