Firewing is a new power/symphonic metal band from the United States with Resurrection being their very grand and certainly most impressive first album. For a debut, this a most assured release from a group of musicians who know exactly what they want and have to skills to back it all up. Very much a pleasing mixture of symphonic and progressive metal the band makes great use of orchestration to enhance the symphonic element and the complex storyline behind the album puts the very technical piece very much in the same category as the works by the likes of Ayreon, Avantasia and Timo Tolkki’s Avalon where the storyline is every bit as important as the music. Of course, it is a concept work which is an epic mythological tale centred around two entities in Ember, the phoenix of hope, which wants to banish chaos and Vishap, the wyvern of darkness, which wants to keep the world in darkness and despair. It is a tale born out of many mythologies and so the band has created a new world and universe to contain the work.
As you can tell, this is not your run of the mill, basic garage band trading in three chord rocks songs! Critics will pan it for being pretentious, overblown and ridiculous but symphonic metal fans are going to love it and the world that the band has created. The musicians all seem to be from the Berklee College of Music in Boston with Airton Araujo on vocals, Chris Dovas on drums, Peter de Reyna on bass, Caio Kehyayan on guitar with Bruno Oliveira on guitar and he provides the orchestration too and they have a real vibe going and must have had a blast creating this work. Araujo is a stand out on vocals with a voice somewhere between James LaBrie and Ronnie James Dio with his colleagues giving it everything they have with plenty of real stand out moments on guitar that truly thrill. The actual music is also similar to Symphony X, Shadow Gallery and Fates Warning but the orchestral parts do make the band stand out from the crowd and that is what is truly remarkable about the band as they could have taken the easier path but, instead, have gone totally ambitious and risked everything in the pursuit of perfection.
The music is also of a technical nature with lots of time changes but all delivered against a very melodic backdrop with plenty of vocal harmonies to delight in. The album feels big and fully rounded and this is helped by a number of guests who help fill out the sound. Obscure Minds features a guitar solo by Bill Hudson (NorthTale) with additional vocals courtesy of Rapha Dantas and Luis Kalis plays neat guitar solos on Demons Of Society and Eternity. Far In Time has vocals and a guitar solo by Ryan Beevers and Jenn Sakra provides vocals on Time Machine. Haydee Irizarry (Aversed, Carnivora) sings on Tales Of Ember & Vishap – How Deep is Your Heart? with Tales Of Ember & Vishap – The Meaning Of Life seeing contributions from Haydee Irizarry on vocals again, a keyboard solo by Joe Atlan and a guitar solo by Fabiano Rodrigues. Not quite a cast of thousands but they all combine to make this a simply huge score that sweeps all before it.
The album is made up of fourteen tracks that all blend seamlessly into one glorious whole so this actually sounds like one 58-minute track and that is more than enough to delight all of the prog fans that I know. If you like your music to be grand and epic with orchestration that hints at some fantasy, off-world cinema sci-fi epic then this new band will delight you but they have set the bar so high with Resurrection that I wonder how the will be able to top it but it sure is going to be fun finding out. Resurrection is a must have album that will keep you enthralled for an age, simply wonderful symphonic metal of the highest order.
Resurrection track list
- Prelude: Moonlight of Despair (1:29)
- Obscure Minds (5:21)
- Chapter I: Acheron’s Ritual (1:34)
- Demons Of Society (4:13)
- Far In Time (3:29)
- Chapter II: Temple of Helios (1:56)
- Resurrection (4:56)
- Time Machine (7:55)
- Chapter III: Transcending Souls (1:17)
- Eternity (7:39)
- Tales Of Ember & Vishap: How Deep Is Your Heart? (4:35)
- Tales Of Ember & Vishap: The Meaning Of Life (4:05)
- The Essence Of Your Heart (4:17)
- Epilogue: Sacred Journey (5:30)