"Allegiance" (Century Media; 2006)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

The near universal praise for Gus G. has covered a lot of ground, albeit mostly in the power metal genre (Mystic Prophecy, Dream Evil, Nightrage, etc.), yet Gus G. has recently made his own creation, Firewind, to be his major focus.

Filled with positive messages yet containing sufficient grit and panache, “Allegiance” hits on all cylinders. Classic power metal (the title track – what a riff!), a Dio-styled gem (“Ready to Strike”), crossover appeal (“Breaking the Silence”), a drama-filled instrumental (“Before the Storm”), and hard rock (“Where Do We Go from Here?”) are all present in glorious fashion.

Firewind’s “Allegiance” strikes a nice balance between classic power metal and hard rock for a satisfying listening experience.

“Allegiance” was produced by Fredrik Nordstrom. Nordstrom’s attention to detail is well known and “Allegiance” is indicative of his skills.

Firewind is Apollo Papathanasio on vocals, Gus G. on guitars, Bob Katsionis on keyboards, Petros Christos on bass, and Mark Cross on drums.

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"Burning Earth" (Leviathan; 2003)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

The Greek melodic metal outfit Firewind return with galloping metal guitars forged by Gus G., (Dream Evil, Mystic Prophecy and Nightrage). This is considered classic heavy metal. The solos are solid, the drums jackhammer, and the vocals are a power lead in their own right.

The problem with Firewind is that the band members change more than anyone can keep up with. Gus G. (whose real name is Kostas Karamitroudis), seems to be the only anchor this group has and thanks be to him for shredding his fingers on every solo he conjures up.

Despite the endless line-up changes, "Burning Earth" will not disappoint metal fans. Although only one song is under four minutes long (the rest are five minutes or more), they all move fast but still last long enough to satisfy those who like a long metal song. Choruses, solos, bridges -- they're all here and, with a power metal vocalist like Chity Somapala, it's more solid metal than the Terminator!

The best mosh pit requests should be: "I Am the Anger," "Immortal Lives Young," and "Burning Earth."

Firewind (for the moment): Chitral "Chity" Somapala - vocals; Gus G. - guitar; Petros Christo - bass; Bob Katsionis - keyboards; Stian Kristoffersen - drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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