Sound — 9
With Days of Defiance, Firewind once again delivers their unique brand of European power metal with force. Their extremely catchy melodies, competent instrumentation and musicianship, and huge, anthemic choruses are ever present and this album is no exception. Their lineup has stayed mostly consistent for the past three records, although they did actually change drummers, replacing Allegiance and Premonition's Mark Cross with Michael Ehre who manages to keep the pace going. The album doesn't stray too far from Firewind's already established material and that's really not a bad thing. Lots of speed metal stuff peppered with a couple of really good mid-paced pieces.
Lyrics — 9
Lyrically, the album deals with personal themes, taking risks in life, and some other larger-than-life themes. The lyrics really fit well; they're not your typical high fantasy type of power metal lyrics, but then Firewind is not your typical power metal band either. Apollo is a great singer and his voice goes well with the style. He uses a lot of the top of his range in ways he hasn't previously, for example in Ark of Lies. Also, his lyrics and vocal melodies really provide the songs with their huge choruses which you can't help sing along to.
Overall Impression — 9
Firewind's Days of Defiance is a really solid effort from the Greeks, effectively putting Greece on the map for power/speed metal. Fans of Firewind will be glad to hear that despite all of Gus G.'s time with Ozzy as of late, Firewind is still going strong. There are a lot of great tracks on this album: most notably I'd say the two singles; World on Fire and Embrace the Sun, and alongside them Chariot, Ark of Lies, When All is Said and Done, and the instrumental SKG, named after the airport in their hometown of Thessaloniki, Greece (in homage to Rush's YYZ, named after the airport in Toronto, Canada). I may even go as far as to say there are no low points on this album, and that even the songs I may not have mentioned are still worthy of merit in their own respects. If this were lost or stolen, I'd most definitely go out and buy it again. Solid, solid effort.