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Firewind/ Powerglove/ DesDemon

Date: 11/6/10
Reviewed by: Rich Catino


Desdemon I missed this time around but reviewed them once before when they opened for Primal Fear. Powerglove are just a joke. Just another novelty act for the moment like Dragonforce. Video gamer's metal?? Really?? The kids will lose interest soon enough.

You ask...who is this Gus G (real name Kostas Karamitroudis)?? And how, why is he Ozzy Osbourne's new guitarist? Is he talented enough to follow in Randy Rhoads, Jake E Lee, and Zakk Wylde's footsteps? Well, in this journalist's eyes, yes, absolutely! Why? Because on a professional level the guy has quite a few years of experience recording (the first Firewind album came out in 2002), touring, and has played in three other bands (Dream Evil, Mystic Prophecy, Nightrage) aside from Firewind. Plus, he helped out Arch Enemy for a tour. So outside of North American metalheads media fed minds (who are on a whole clueless to European bands), Gus has payed his dues.

In 2010, Firewind returns to American shores (in the past they have done a few dates with Sonata Arctica and a tour with Arch Enemy) for a short 4 date run in support of their latest album "Days of Defiance" before Gus goes off to shred for Ozzy's U.S. tour (which started November 12).

Judging by crowd reaction its clear Firewind have their fans although given Gus' current gig with Ozzy its obvious many curious on-lookers were also in attendance. Their lineup has been stable for some time now (since 2006's "Allegiance") with Apollo Papathanasio on vocals, second guitarist/keyboards Bob Katsionis, and bassist Petros Christo (who could not do the tour is temporarily replaced by Nightrage's Marios Iliiopoulos), with Michael Ehre the latest addition on drums.

After kicking off the night with "Days Of Defiance" album opener 'Ark Of Lies', the Greeks barreled through a nice mixed bag of songs including at least one from every album. The debut "Between Heaven And Hell" was represented by the Euro power metal fashioned 'Destination Forever', 'Brother's Keeper, 'I Am The Anger' and what looks like the now classic headbanging instrumental 'Fire And The Fury' come "Burning Earth", and 'Tyranny' from 05's "Forged In Fire". Three were played from "Days Of Defiance" and the first single/video 'World On Fire' has already become a crowd favorite. The rest of the tunes (including the hit 'Falling To Pieces') came from "Allegiance" and "The Premonition" (including singles 'Mercenary Man' and 'Head Up High').

The four years since the release of "Allegiance" has given the band plenty of time to create a strong synergy and it shows (regardless of the fact Firewind may appear to be "new" to the Americans). As performers and musicians, Apollo, while has a great voice and carries a note does needs to work a bit on his frontman skills, and Michael is solid behind the kit, but Gus and Bob really are the showmen. You have to see the two jam together, especially when Bob plays keyboard and guitar leads at the same time on 'Insanity' (pun intended). Both are versed, capable of providing purposeful melodic leads to compliment the hooks, not just mindless shredding. Great band. I'm looking forward to a return visit sooner than later.


Firewind Setlist:
Ark Of Lies
Head Up High
Destination Forever
Angels Forgive Me
World On Fire
-Guitar Solo-
The Fire and the Fury
-Drum Solo-
My Loneliness
Mercenary Man
Till The End Of Time
Brother's Keeper
I Am The Anger
Heading For The Dawn
Falling To Pieces

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