Firewind Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 16, 2011    
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Firewind - Talking Heads Pub, Southampton (UK) - 9th of September 2011

You couldn’t get a bigger contrast between tonight and the last time Firewind played on these shores.In the summer they took part in the Sonisphere Festival playing to thousands.Tonight they are playing to a few hundred in a small pub. Along with Firewind, tonight’s other acts include new metal band Nephwrack and Swedish metallers Wolf.

Nephwrack came to the stage soon after doors opened but seem to get people’s attention early on.The band is a five piece playing what can best be described as Maidenesque metal.It is clear from each track that the veteran act has heavily influenced this group.It may be nothing new but it is well played.The English outfit is followed by the guys from Sweden who by all accounts of encountering two accidents en route was lucky to have made the gig.As with the openers, their performance was entertaining and there was certainly a section of the audience that had come to see them as well.

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There was time for a quick drink then the lights went down once more then the PA struck up with the opening instrumental.Firewind blasted on stage with the opening track from their latest release ‘The Ark Of Lies’.This was followed immediately by ‘Head Up High’ which came across particularly well especially on the guitar.One thing many will have noticed was the different lead singer.Apollo Papathanasio had been forced to pull out of the European leg due to personal reasons and had been replaced by ex Yngwie Malmsteen singer Mats Leven.Firewind ripped through a mixed set list of old and new tracks.These included ‘World On Fire’ and ‘Heading For The Dawn’ from the current release.There were also plenty of classics such as ‘Angels Forgive Me’, ‘Destination Forever’ and ‘Kill To Live’.No Firewind gig would be complete without the main man Gus G taking centre stage and he was given plenty of time to show his shredding skills with ‘The Fire And The Fury’ and ‘SKG’, which gave the fans plenty of chance to see him really letting rip.The band left the best for last and closed out with ‘Falling To Pieces’ which left most fans in a fine mood.

There can be no denying this was an amazingly intimate gig and one which was well performed.Both opening acts were fun to watch and Nephwrack could well be one to keep an eye on.Firewind put together a great opening night and have picked a good varied set list for the tour.The band themselves put on a fine show and Gus G was on electrifying form.Levens was a good replacement as front man despite being a slightly different style of singer.From most attendee’s reactions, this was a thoroughly enjoyed and exceptionally loud night of good metal being well played.Definitely an entertaining night, even if the ears did ring somewhat the next day!

Dave Scott


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