|Brother Firetribe Heart Full Of Fire||Spinefarm|
Sometimes, something a little special comes along for fans of a bygone era. Finland's Brother Firetribe have really pulled out all the stops to deliver an album of glorious keyboard filled AOR that sounds more American in places than many American bands sound these days.|
There isn't a note I don't like on this album and I find myself swept up into the rush of passionate songs and over the top harmonies every time I out it on.
A great album pulls the listener in and I simply cannot listen to this without the desire to sing along with every track.
The band has evolved since their debut album False Metal (now repacked and re-released as Break Out). That was a cracking debut, but this album has more of everything. More keyboards, more guitars, more hooks, more vocals and more energy. I think that last one of the key – more energy. The songs just burst through the speakers and beat your ears with the melodicbat.
The debut was great, but I found myself favouring singer Pekka Ansio's other band Leverage over that release. But this is just pure melodic magic and of the 2 Leverage and 2 BFT releases, I now have a clear favourite.
I think the band have found their groove and refined their sound. This time around the songs pull you in thanks to some wonderful chorus hooks and equally good verses, which provide great contrast to the soaring choruses.
I know this style of record will not be for everyone, but the 80s influence and keyboard drenched sound, coupled with layers of guitars and harmony vocals and songs that remind me of the glory days are enough to make this one of the best albums of the last few years – for me.
There are two sides to this record – but both blend perfectly together. There is the more dramatic and powerful side of the coin, which comes from the band's European influences and that heavy synth and somewhat symphonic approach Finnish bands have.
The opening rocker Who Will You Run To Now is a prime example, adding an instantly likeable chorus and a powerful vocal to top things off. The darker and moodier Game They Call Love fits this mold as does the pounding title track Heart Full Of Fire, which features a duet lead vocal with Nightwish's Anette Olsen and so many swirling keyboards.
The rocking Going Out With A Bang; the darker Out Of My Head and the closing big beat stomper I Am Rock are all part of this dramatic side to the band.
On the other side of the coin is something a little lighter – a great contrast to the darker moments – and that is some wonderfully commercial keyboard driven pop rock.
There is no better example on this album or perhaps anywhere than the glorious and engaging Wildest Dreams, which will be hard to beat for song of the year. This is what it is all about for me – passion, emotion and a chorus from heaven.
And while you spend 3 second bemoaning the end of this melodic gem, another fires up and drags you into its own world. Runaways is keyboard heaven circa 1985 and Pekka's raspy vocal is blissful. And yes…another chorus from AOR Heaven.
The album's big ballad is Play It From The Heart - a European sounding affair, moody and compelling and another great chorus. Heard It On My Radio is a track Gregg Giuffria would be proud to call his own. I haven't heard such fluffy keyboards since Giuffria's Silk & Steel.
And the cover of Chasing The Angels would make Mike Reno proud. More AOR glory.
What I will say is that if you are a die-hard Giuffria fan or just long for the days of classic keyboard filled AOR, then the sequel to Silk & Steel has finally been released and it is called Heart Full Of Fire.
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