Sweden’s Firecracker is the predecessor of popular Escape Music band Vindictiv and this is a collection of songs original recorded in 2004 now getting an airing. The Firecracker line-up was Stefan Lind Holm (Guitars), Pontus Larsson (Keyboards), Tommy Kerevik (Vocals), Hasse Wazzel (Drums) & Frederik Folkare (Bass).
I’m not a fan of Vindictiv I’ve only heard a few of their songs and the style of the band doesn’t really appeal to my musical taste buds, so I wasn’t really expecting much from this album. It may be a personal taste thing but the album just left me flat, it’s quite a short album and maybe it should be judged as a work in progress, a bunch of early demo’s from a collection of musicians trying to improve and develop their skills and style. The songs have a speed metal vibe to them akin to bands like Dragonforce with lots of fast and furious guitar widdling and quick thumping rhythm sections. Although I hear a lot of N.W.O.B.H.M influences in many of the songs especially amongst the guitar playing, if the song writers aren’t Iron Maiden fans I’d be genuinely surprised. To be honest the album really failed to maintain my interest and I wasn’t impressed at all, probably the best thing on the album is some of the guitar playing, but there was far too much guitar widdling for my tastes. The album is only eight tracks long two of which are instrumentals, I like my choruses and there is none on show here to crow about and so many of the songs failed to make an impression on me.
“Blind Date” is the opening Epic (or should that just read long song?) which just has no hook and had me yawning come its close. “My Second Self” has a thumping bass line and is a real speed metal tune. The oddly titled “Gamekeeper’s Song” has a great opening guitar riff and has some of the best melodic vocals on offer on the whole album. I really like the strength of vocalist Tommy Kerevik’s voice I’m seriously considering tracking down some of his other band Seventh Wonder’s music, and seeing if that hits my spots. There’s also some good keyboard work on here with a thumping rhythm section to keep metal heads everywhere happy!
“Back Broken” has a driving guitar riff, but there is far too much guitar widdling laced over the top of it. The riff is strong and good enough but been covered in tuneless fast finger twaddle takes away its impact, which is a great shame. Tommy’s vocals are really strong here again and buried in here is probably some of Stefan Lindholm’s best guitar work, less twiddling more riffing please! “The Refrain” is an epic ballad (AKA long) which is a little bit quirky but again some strong vocals from Tommy caught my ear, but the song is perhaps a little too long to really make an impact. “A Place Behind” failed to grab me at all and was a bit of bland speed metal to my ears. Final track “Speed Devil” is an instrumental and you can tell it’s only a demo a bit of self indulgent fastest finger twiddling to be honest but although there is a decent riff in the background and some well used keyboards.
It’s Modern Metal which has a hint of traditional metal sounds and leans towards speed metal in its delivery. Not really my thing, but fans of Vindictive (obviously!), Speed Metal, Dragonforce and traditional sounding N.W.O.B.H.M bands like Iron Maiden should check it out and give the album a spin!
Track Listing: Blind Date / Second Self / Gamekeepers Song / Instru(mental) / Back Broken / The Refrain / A Place Called Behind / Speed Devil (demo)
Album Rating: 1/5
Woody’s Essential Track: Gamekeeper’s Song
Born Of Fire is OUT NOW and available from all good retailers and www.destinyrocks.com