There is an unstoppable force exploding out of Greece that is sure to satisfy all of the needs and desires of any fan of heavy music with its powerful, epic metal assault, melodic hooks and bombastic guitarwork. This phenomenon is better known as FIREWIND, led by the young guitar sensation Gus G. (ex-Dream Evil, Nightrage, Mystic Prophecy, Arch Enemy), who recently turned heads with his stunning “Betcha Can’t Play This” feature in Guitar World, and whose signature ESP guitar – already a best-seller in Japan, where he’s revered as a guitar hero – will be released in America in 2007.
FIREWIND developed a loyal underground fanbase with Between Heaven and Hell (2002) and Burning Earth (2003), but quickly caught the entire metal community’s attention with 2005’s Forged In Fire. The group have triumphantly returned with Allegiance, a dynamic display of traditional heavy metal with more of an emphasis on speed, technicality and catchy songwriting. This effort marks the first album with new vocalist Apollo Papathanasio (ex-Majestic, Time Requiem) and drummer Mark Cross (ex-Helloween, Metalium), whose talents had a prominent impact on the creative process. Allegiance was mixed at the famed Studio Fredman with the acclaimed Fredrik Nordstrom (Hammerfall, Arch Enemy, Opeth), and the results are breathtaking.
Gus G. further describes his thoughts on the new album’s release: “The whole approach on this album differed from the ones in the past. We wrote a bunch of songs and kept the best ones, because we simply want no filler on our albums. Bob and I co-wrote most of the material this time and did the pre-production in his studio. After that, we would send the stuff to Apollo so he could lay down his vocals. Once the whole home studio pre-production thing was done, we all went into the rehearsal room and jammed on the new material for a couple of weeks. We made adjustments, changed arrangements and added dynamics, for we wanted every note and every hit to be perfect.
“We’ve always recorded our albums in three or four different studios, but this time, we stayed with one, relocating to Gothenburg, Sweden for a month to record with Fredrik Nordstrom (my old bandmate in Dream Evil) engineering and the band co-producing. We all feel this is the best result we’ve achieved so far, and we hope you feel the same.”
Allegiance peaked on the Greek album charts at #10 and spent six weeks in the Top 20, a further testament of the group’s growing presence throughout Europe, where the group kicked off the Allegiance world tour by supporting Dragonforce on a four-week European trek. The album is a must for any fan of Dragonforce, Iced Earth, Hammerfall or anyone who claims to be a heavy metal fanatic
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