January 23, 2024

Flames Of Fire is a quite remarkable Nordic hard rock band made up by some seriously talented and well-known musicians with Our Blessed Hope being the much anticipated follow up to their 2022 self-titled debut which announced that they were new pretenders to the Christian rock crown.

In many respects, Flames Of Fire is a real supergroup with a line-up on the debut that featured vocalist Christian Liljegren (Narnia, Audiovision), guitarists Mats-Åke Andersson (Zaragorn), Stephen Carlson (Brotthogg, Peter Carlsohn’s The Rise) and Jani Stefanovic (The Waymaker, Solution .45 and he also provides keyboards and produces too. Bass is courtesy of Per Schelander (House of Shakira, ex-Royal Hunt and ex-Pain of Salvation) and they all return for Our Blessed Hope with a new addition in drummer Alfred Fridhagen (Morning Dwell, Vengeant) who takes over the sticks from Jani Stefanovic.

Now I know that you only have to mention Christian rock and many will immediately turn off but there are fewer band who are heavier than Stryper so buy into the concept if you wish but if not then simply revel in some seriously good and very heavy old-school rock.

The immediate influence you will pick up is Ronnie James Dio with a very big element of his more symphonic work with Rainbow but there are also flavours of Axel Rudi Pell and Yngwie Malmsteen and, therefore, the Man in Black himself but there is also a feel of the power and the majesty of Trans-Siberian Orchestra at its most gargantuan.

Vocalist Christian Liljegren again shows that he is in a class of his own with the power and range he brings to the table and he thrills to the core with the way he commands proceedings and the work of the three guitarists is simply breathtaking and all are superbly backed by sublime keyboards and a powerhouse rhythm section.

The album continues on from the debut and again thrills with the power and the concept and I have no doubt that these guys have a monster classic in their locker and these two cracking albums are merely the appetiser for it, watch this space!

Our Blessed Hope

  1. Second Advent of Jesus Christ (1:52)
  2. This Is The One (5:47)
  3. Battlefield Of Souls (5:35)
  4. Prayer Warriors (3:30)
  5. In Dark Times (Shelter Me) (4:21)
  6. Alpha and Omega (4:09)
  7. Rest In Me (2:45)
  8. The King Will Return (5:37)
  9. Our Blessed Hope (6:50)
  10. Vila I Mig (2:48)