By Theron Moore

Guitarist Gus G knows metal pretty well having played with the likes of OZZY, ARCHENEMY and DREAM EVIL at various points in his storied career.  FIREWIND, the band hefounded in 1998, is set to drop their new record May 15th, simply titled, "Firewind" featuring new lead singer Herbie Langhans  who replaced Henning Basse after   FIREWIND’s tour with QUEENSRYCHE last year. 

 Says Gus G,  “I remembered Herbie singing for SINBREED and how amazed I alwayswas by his vocal performance”, he recalls. “So, I did some research on YouTube, had my recordcompany reach out to him and got right down to it: “Hi Herbie, here are ten new songs, can you help us? Deadline is mid of January.”  Luckily, Herbie agreed immediately and got familiarizedwith everything in no time.”

Firewind is 11 songs of 80’s inspired melodic / power metal. Without any doubt there’s going to be comparisons between Gus G &  FIREWIND to Yngwie Malmsteen &  RISING FORCE, especially with track 2 “Devour.”  That’s ok, the similarities are there but in the end FIREWIND is a full-fledged band, whereas Yngwie has always been more of a solo guitaris tbacked up by talented musicians who thought they were in a band (that’s a discussion for another time). The true talent of any band is how well can they pull off their sound, how genuine does itseem to you, the listener?  FIREWIND sells their sound and image flawlessly on this new record.They strike a good balance between showcasing Gus G’s guitar virtuosity and not coming off as a backup band to him; the 80’s inspired metal vibe is present but doesn’t overpower the songs while the power metal factor is an always omnipresent component from the start of the record to the end.

Standout tracks include “Devour” and “Orbital Sunrise.” The songs on "Firewind"  are tight, the band’s chemistry takes center stage, and new vocalist Herbie Langhans is a welcome addition to FIREWIND being the final piece of the puzzle that Gus G has been looking for, taking the band to the next level, which is what this record is:  Next Level Metal.  Buy it.  4/5 stars for sure.