There is an expression that goes "the more things change, the more they stay the same." With that in mind, I really love listening to new bands who have a firm grasp on the origin of a genre. This definitely can be said about Belgium's Fireforce, whose debut release "March On" pays homage to classic European metal bands of the 80s. I liken Fireforce's sound to "Restless and Wild" from Accept and "Walls of Jericho" from Helloween, as well as Metal Church's self titled debut. Fireforce is a power metal band, but power metal in the more classic sense of the definition. They have a driving rhythm and little time for operatic drama.
"March On" is rough, gritty, in-your-face, and relentless from the beginning to end. "Coastal Battery", the opener, is the standout track on the CD, with a close favorite being "Hold Your Ground". Prepare yourself for a history lesson in battle tactics because many of the songs are war and battle-related. They do stray a little into the metal brotherhood territory a la Manowar with "Born to Play Metal". To me, songs about metal brotherhood are a little tiresome, but theirs is a good one and I know there are people out there who are happy to throw up the horns to songs of this ilk. \m/
As I've mentioned, "March On' is a gritty and relentless CD. This means the production as well as vocals and song writing. It can be a bit wearying if you are not in the mood for the constant hammering rhythm. If they were to include some sort of pseudo thrash ballad in there, maybe along the lines of "The Thing That Should Not Be" from Metallica, it would break up the monotony.
I can't end the review without mentioning the cover art. It's done by Eric Philippe, who has done artwork for Rhapsody, Mob Rules, and TNT. The long and the short of it is: it looks great. If you are into no-holds-barred, classic power metal, then I definitely recommend "March On" from Fireforce.
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Live Long and Rock Hard,
Space Kev's Rating: 8.25 out of 10