Overall Score: 10/10 Storytelling: 10/10 Riffage: 10/10 Replayability: 10/10 Pros: Captivating, air-punching, unforgettable. Cons: There simply aren’t any.
Basking in the glory of their ancient Greek ancestors, Firewind’s faultless eighth album ‘Immortals‘ presents an epic classical tale through stunning electrics and celestial vocals.
Bridging the 5-year gap since ‘Few Against Many’, ‘Immortals’ is a brave yet expertly executed first venture into the conceptual realm. It’s no secret Gus G is a godlike axeman and Henning Basse wields rather divine pipes, therefore ‘Immortals’ feels like an album they’ve had the strength and talent to compose for the last 19 years.
Astoundingly orchestrated from the onset, opener ‘Hands of Time’ sets the scene for a jaw-dropping electric and vocal match made on Mount Olympus to tell the infamous tale of 480 BC’s Battle of Thermopylae. Through the battle charging pace of ‘We Defy’ to the flawless energy and assertive authority of ‘Ode to Leonidas’, not one second loses its overarching theme and paints a truly amazing picture of the power to narrate via instruments.
While searing speed metal reigns supreme throughout, a woeful Helen of Troy-esque tale glitters through ‘Lady of 1000 Sorrows’ as beautifully as the seductive opening lull of ‘Live and Die by the Sword’, which soon unfolds into an ode to devotion to the Greek cause at whatever cost. Even the towering keyboard intro of the defiant ‘Back on the Throne’ and utterly relentless drums of ‘Wars of Ages’ suggest the Greek outfit are all-round artists with talent for centuries.
An event carved in stone and marked in blood, Firewind pay phenomenal tribute to the ancient Greek efforts and it doesn’t take an academic to appreciate the incredible historical content. What it does take is consummate professionalism to deliver a message so passionately as if the Trojan Horse were to burst open with every single chord.
‘Immortals’ is out now via Century Media Records. Follow Firewind on Twitter at @FirewindMusic.