Sound — 7
One of Greek power metal's most prestigious groups, Firewind was first formed back in 1998 as an outlet for lead guitarist Gus G. of Ozzy Osbourne fame to showcase his demo recordings. Three years later the band forged a full lineup, and went into the studio to create their debut album, the internationally acclaimed "Between Heaven and Hell." Since then, Firewind have released a total of seven studio albums, the latest of which, "Few Against Many," was released just last year. Besides the group's guitar driven anthems, Firewind are similarly well known for their engaging live performances and masterful onstage execution.
Capturing this band purely in their element is their new live album, titled "Apotheosis." Recorded during Firewind's 2012 tour in support of "Few Against Many," this live album has the band tearing through a set list comprised of 19 of their greatest hits and fan favorites. Throughout their strengthy live takes on such songs as "Head Up High," "Tyranny" and "World on Fire," the entire band gives their all, staying true to the original studio renditions while also expanding upon them with extended guitar solos and allowing the crowd to sing the chorus.
The audio recording quality that comes along with "Apotheosis" is of what you would come to expect from a decent live album. It's clear enough for the at home listener to easily enjoy, yet tough enough that you don't (at least subconsciously) forget that you're listening to a live album. All in all, Firewind give a standout performance with their new live album that should please already established followers and have you cranking it up to ten in now time.
Lyrics — 8
Lead vocalist Apollo Papathanasio gives a noteworthy live performance throughout "Apotheosis." He first joined the band back in 2006, and made his studio debut with Firewind on the "Allegiance" album. So hearing his unique take on such songs as the title track from "Between Heaven and Hell" which were recorded before he joined the band are always enjoyable listens. Unfortunately for fans, this will be most likely the final Firewind outing featuring Apollo on lead vocals, considering his decision to leave the band just earlier this year. Perhaps that's what makes "Apotheosis" so significant.
Overall Impression — 8
Firewind give an electrifying performance with "Apotheosis," that has the band digging deep into their catalogue and pulling out a number of deep tracks alongside their best known hits and delivering them with note-for-note accuracy. Hearing at-the-time lead vocalist Apollo Papathanasio take on some of their earlier material is a standout feature, and just the fact that we have a new Firewind live album is noteworthy by itself. For any fan of the bands previous albums, this should be something to keep your eyes out for.