|Brother Firetribe False Metal||Spinefarm Records|
Its Finland's turn to deliver a classic old school style melodic hard rock album wrapped up in a contemporary delivery and backed with a monster production and retail promotion.|
Sweden has The Poodles and Norway has Wig Wam. Finland has Brother Firetribe, the band formed by Emppu Vuorinen – guitarist for symphonic metal band Nightwish.
The band also features an amazing vocalist in Pekka Ansio Heino – a melodicrock.com regular and all-round good guy.
Emppu brings some of the symphonic flavor of Nightwish to Brother Firetribe, especially with the dramatic keyboard passages that dominate this record. The band has a flair for the dramatic and it's interesting to hear keyboards billed equally with the guitar parts.
Swirling keyboards take command and along with the extremely likable vocals, drive the melodies, while the guitar is used primarily for supplying the underlying riffs and when the occasion calls for it, some flashy solos.
The band's sound is reminiscent of the big American 80s synth driven high-tech production, at times reminding me of some of those classic American soundtrack anthems. This style is mixed with the band's European roots for a truly unique, yet familiar sound. Think early Bon Jovi meets Treat with a dash of Cheap Trick and Van Halen for good measure.
Vocalist Pekka has a commanding voice that at times sounds a little like Cheap Trick's Robin Zander in his 80s hard rock mode. No wonder that the guys sound so comfortable covering Cheap Trick's rock anthem Mighty Wings, from the Top Gun soundtrack. It sums up the band's creed totally.
As for the songs themselves, the guys can't do a thing wrong. This is an album packed with one great track after the other.
The album opens in dramatic style with the moody synth drenched Break Out, moving seamlessly into the sentimental rocker Valerie, which delivers a knockout chorus.
I'm On Fire is a moodier again and features a more restrained verse before one of the year's biggest choruses blasts through the speakers with the deafening roar of keyboards, guitars and massive vocals.
The powerful and emotional ballad Love Goes Down has a dramatic flair, while Devil's Daughter lightens the tone a little.
My pick of the entire album is the big dramatic anthem rocker Midnight Queen which bursts through the speakers from the first note. The commercial beat and tone of One Single Breath is a good choice as the single, but every track stands on its own here.
Lover Tonite has that dark synth driven Cheap Trick feel again, Spanish Eyes is a little darker again, but still hits hard and closing the album is Kill City Kid, a track which is more guitar dominated than any other on the album and packs a real punch, featuring another big over the top chorus.
Essential stuff for long time readers of this site and yet more proof that European bands are kicking major ass.
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