In October 2016, in interview for Antichrist Metalzine, Gus G revieled details of Firewind upcoming album: “It’s a concept album, we are making actually about Leonidas 300 and the Greco-Persian war. A lot of songs are focused on that and of course the Battle of Salamis, Greeks against Persians, I think it was 480 before Christ, maybe, not sure. But I think it was than. It’s our first concept album. We’ve never done it before, so it was a challange for us to do it”.
Album is relesed on January 20th, 2017 (Century Media). We have been waiting on it for five years since band members are workaholics, working at few projects at the same time. Since I am listening this CD at least once a day from the day I got it, all I can say is that it was worth of waiting.
Line up is pretty much the same as it was on previous album “Few Agains Many” (2012, Century Media). An old-new member is Henning Basse (vocals) who toured with the band in 2007.
As you already red, “Immortals” is concept album focused on the battles of Thermopylae and Salamis during the second Persian invasion of Greece in 480BC. Who were “Immortals”? Greek historian Herodoutus gave the name “Immortals” to an elite heavy infantry unit. Unit included exactly 10000 men who were replaced immidiately with new one in case of any diseases, wounding or death. And that was inspirational enough for Firewind to deliver us 10 songs:
- Hands of Time
- We Defy
- Ode to Leonidas
- Back on the Throne
- Live and Die by the Sword
- Wars of Ages
- Lady of 1000 Sorrows
- Warriors and Saints
- Rise from the Ashes
Album is full of variations: dynamic, bombastic, powerfull, galloping, but at the other hand it offers tranquility. Basse’s melodic singing so easily transfering from soft rock to pure power style brings another dimension to this album. It would be too much to give any comment on Gus or Bob, those guys are simply the best Greek musicians of 20th (21st) century. Johan Nunez killis with his drumming too. Only Petros seems to be the most loyal member of Firewind, patiently waiting the rest of the crew to decide when the time is right to record new album. And he did his job well.
I have no idea where to start with this review. The first song I have heard was “Ode to Leonidas” and it blew me away. An album opener is “Hands of Time”. Firewind strikes from the beginning with mindblowing song. “We Defy” is following the first one and than, already mentioned “Ode to Leonidas”. Acoustic guitar, spoken intro, and than one of the best songs of this album simply gives you melody you can not remain immune. “Back on the Throne” with spooky keybords at the beginning, and killing riffs, diverse vocals… You have to love it.
“Live and Die by the Sword” again brings us acoustic guitars, thunder in background, calm and tearful Basse interpretation and glorious turnover. Simply-epic one.
“War of Ages” another up tempo, with great chorus.
What would be metal album without ballads? “Lady of 1000 Sorrows” is the one that will normalize your puls and lead you to title track “Immortals”. If I have to find any imperfection, than it would be the lenght of this instrumental (1:57). It is too short and finishes at the place it should gloriously rise.
If you are searching for variety, you will find it in “Warriors and Saints”, from tempo changing to voice range, everything that defines this album is held in this song. And “Rise from the Ashes” is perfectly closing this album. Pure classic, with great melody and huge chorus.
I can easily write this is the best Firewind album by now.