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FIREWIND, Dear Superstar, Kiuas
London Scala, 25 September 2008
Being half way through the process of revising for this year's university
exams, I was desperately in need of a small break - one that would enable
me to release some energy and perhaps charge my batteries, so when my
colleagues asked me whether I would be interested in reviewing a Firewind
gig I was more than happy to accept.
The Greek metalheads have managed to raise their value in the music business
quite high recently, with the release of their fifth full-length album "The
Premonition", receiving some really positive reviews, so it was almost
understandable how the gig that took place on the 25th of September ended up
leaving both the crowd and the three participating bands with an obvious sense
of satisfaction after the lights went out.
The first opening act of the night was the Manchester-based outfit Dear
Superstar, and I have to say that it has been since the early days of the
Stone Gods that I have to come across such a diverse band!
If you can imagine a post-hardcore outfit with a strong affection for bands such
as Guns n' Roses and Motley Crue, you are still slightly far from describing
these five lads and I have to admit that I was quite intrigued to find out
whether they would be able to attract the attention of Firewind's loyal Power
The pit was relatively empty when these lads hit the stage, but before the end
of their short set they had somehow managed to attract the attention and the
applause of the few people that were willing to spend their time on something
Next on stage were the Finnish Power/Folk metal quintet Kiuas - a band
that was greeted with sheer joy by a large proportion of the crowd - testimony
that the venue was hosting a varied crowd that night.
Following the release of their latest album "The New Dark Age", the five Finns
were more than happy to perform anthems such as "Conqueror" and the same-titled
composition, both of which impressed with their groove and melody.
Further proof that this is 'not yet another Folk Metal band' came from the
presentation of songs, such as "The Spirit of Ukko"and "Of Ancient Wounds", not
only enabling the band to display material from all three albums, but also
leaving me with the hope of seeing them headlining a London venue soon.
Firewind is a band that I have grown to respect quite a lot over the
years, not only due to the undoubtable talent of guitarist Gus G, but also
because of the great energy they bring to their live performances and this was
not an exception.
Last time I saw the band, though, which was a couple of years ago at the London
Underworld, the band's frontman was not Apollo Papathanassiou, but the quite
charismatic Chitral Somapala. Chitral was indeed a great addition to the band,
so I was naturally uncertain as to whether Apollo would manage to match his
skill. A few minutes into the set, however, any doubts I was harbouring were
The band was as tight as ever and fans responded with much excitement, not only
in the opening "Into The Fire", but also in compositions such as "Head Up High"
and "The Silent Code".
One thing I always admired about Gus G is the fact that he manages to impress
with his guitar skills without becoming tiring or annoying (unlike Yngwie
Malmsteen) and yesterday's show proved once again why this young musician
deserves all the praise that he can get.
I believe I got so hooked on what was going on the stage that I was
somehow shocked when I realised that "Till The End of Time" was to be the
last song of the band's main set, although they did come back on stage for
a three song encore minutes later.
If you were part of the crowd that enjoyed this unusual bill on the
evening of the 25th of September, you will probably agree with me that
this was a show that was definitely worth attending.
Review by John Stefanis
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