Thursday, January 15, 2015

Bandemonic - Fires of Redemption

"Fires of Ambition"

The Greek heavy metal band, Bandemonic is ready with their debut album after the well performed 2012 EP, Chains. This time around the band aimed high and have put a lot of effort into their first full-length and now it's time to see how that went.

The album starts off with what many albums from newer bands starts off with these days. Some kind of instrumental track to make it sound exciting, big and like it has a big production. I think those kind of intros are as redundant as can be, and Fires of Redemption (the track) would have fitted perfect as a mid-section in a song. The album takes a turning point when The Awakening comes on because that's just a fantastic song. It's well written, sounds awesome, great solo and it has the harmonic guitars that the old school heavy metal is known for. I'm happy to see that survive on this album as it also features more power metal influence than their EP, and power metal is not something I'm into at all. After three good songs we reach my second highlight of this album, Guardians of Time. Bandemonic fucking shines when it comes to ballads, which they showed already on their Chains EP. The song is not a minute too long or too short, and it manages to raise the hair on my forearms. It manages to stay fresh with some harder moments in the song and they balanced it out just the way it's supposed to be. I hope they can continue to bash out more beautiful songs like this in the future. The closing track, The Seeker, is a re-recording and I definitely don't mind that at all. It's probably their best track so far, so it's a joy to listen to it with better production and better vocal delivery.

The album is without a doubt more ambitious than their EP. The production is definitely better than earlier but it was a mixed bag for me in the beginning. Sometimes I just thought it sounded too clean and modern but after a few listens it mellowed out. All of the instruments are really clear, audible and kicking. It's good to see a young new band with the production on their side. The vocals of George Manthos is much better this time around as well and he lays down a better performance than he did on the EP. But what doesn't thrills me on this record is the more present power metal elements. It's one of those genres that I'm just not into and probably never will be, so I hope it won't take over their future music. Even though it's not really a decision of mine, a fella is allowed to hope.

Despite the production there's still a couple of songs that doesn't strike through and sticks with you. That being said there's still some really good highlights on this album even though one of them is a re-recording, it's still one hell of a track. If you even gained the slightest interest in Bandemonic I'd strongly recommend you get your hands on their Chains EP. At the end of the day Fires of Redemption manages to retain my excitement for this band's future and I'm looking forward to see what these talented young Greeks comes up with next!