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Review: Firewind - Between Heaven and Hell
Between Heaven and Hell

Label: Leviathan Records
Year released: 2002
Duration: 53:01
Tracks: 12
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: March 28, 2003
Reviewed by: Scott Murray
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.07/5 (81.33%) (15 Votes)

Firewind’s brand of classic 80’s metal mixed with modern production isn’t normally my preference, but there is something really special about this band. It didn’t take long for the title track of Between Heaven and Hell to have me pleasantly surprised at just how listenable this is.

Musically, the band bridges a continental gap between bands. The prospering American scene of the time in which bands looked to inspire with light-hearted riffs, larger than life image and positive messages of uniting as brothers, fighting evil and other such themes that in modern times is often seen as silly, Manowar-ish and irrelevant. Combine this with the unmistakable sound of European melodic metal and you’ve got yourself one of the most promising genuine metal acts around. This can be attributed to the presence of Greek members Gus G. (Dream Evil, ex-Exhumation) on guitar and Konstatine on bass joining forces with American made vocalist Stephen Fredrick and drummer Brian Harris, both of whom used to play in a band called Kenziner.

The outcome is a diverse flavour of guitar tones, powerful (and controlled) vocals that never sound like a cat having its tail stepped on, and a style that many grew up on, while keeping it up-to date with top-notch mixing a la Fredrik Nordstrom.

If not for the lack of momentum and label turmoil that resulted in Iced Earth’s solid but bland Horror Show, I suspect that Jon Schaffer’s follow up to Something Wicked This Way Comes could have possessed the passion harnessed by Firewind.

Each song acts upon a heartfelt emotion, often times reflecting on current unrest in the world. From love, war and self-discovery, Between Heaven and Hell is a very accessible album, relating common human themes in a positive form.

Up and coming household name Gus G. shines throughout the album, but two instrumentals allow him to take the lead over from the vocals and really strut his stuff. Oceans is a nostalgic solo typical of the American angle of the band. Northern Sky features all of the instruments coming together under melodic guitar drawing memories of In Flames’ Whoracle release.

Firewind is definitely a band that anyone who loves metal can enjoy on some level. This is a band that could easily make some big waves for themselves.

More about Firewind...
Review: Days of Defiance (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: Few Against Many (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Firewind (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
Review: Firewind (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Forged By Fire (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Immortals (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
Review: The Premonition (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Interview with Gus G. (guitar) on April 21, 2003 (Interviewed by Scott Murray)
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