Brother Firetribe – Diamond In The Firepit Review

brotherfire_cover Brother Firetribe - Diamond In The Firepit Review

Released by: Universal Label

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Hard Rock/Melodic Rock

Links: http://www.brotherfiretribe.com

 

Line Up:

Vocals – Pekka Ansio Heino
Guitars – Emppu Vuorinen
Keyboards – Tomi Nikulainen
Bass/Backing vocals – Jason Flinck
Drums – Kalle Torniainen

 

Tracklist:

01. Intro
02. Love Is Not Enough
03. Far Away From Love
04. For Better Or For Worse
05. Desperately *
06. Edge Of Forever
07. Hanging By A Thread
08. Trail Of Tears
09. Winner Takes It All
10. Tired Of Dreaming
11. Reality Bites
12. Close To The Bone

 

What a surprise – the Finnish AOR rockers Brother Firetribe are back! Their last album was released back in 2008 and over the years I lost sight of them. Two weeks ago I didn’t know that a new album was coming. I didn’t expect something new from these guys and now here it is – out of nowhere – the third effort “Diamond In The Firepit”. In those six years of silence the band should have had enough time to collect a bunch of great songs.

When Brother Firetribe started in 2006 their debut album “False Metal” had a huge impact on me. It was full of melodic jewels and surely one of the best releases in that year. The follow-up “Heart Full Of Fire” was a bit weaker to my ears, so I was excited if this tendency continued.

If you aren’t familiar with Brother Firetribe here are some facts for you: the two flagships of the band are without a doubt singer Pekka Ansio Heino (Leverage) and guitarist Emppu Vuorinen from Nightwish. I’m still surprised by these two guys, because the musical style of Brother Firetribe is so much different from their main bands. I mean you wouldn’t expect an AOR record from a Symphonic Metaler, right? Yeah and that’s the essence of Brother Firetribe: keyboard driven 80’s AOR/Melodic Rock. For all fans of Journey, Toto and Survivor this band must be a revelation.They combine the best of these bands without sounding like a copy.

I’ve already read comparisons with H.e.a.t. but I’ve to say the style is quiet different. While H.e.a.t. have a more modern presentation and add a fresh note to their sound, Brother Firetribe sound very traditional and old-school, maybe even a bit outdated. So, H.e.a.t present the new era of Melodic Rock and Brother Firetribe are the traditionalists. So expect no innovations here.

Brother Firetribe continue where they left of six years ago: the opener “Love Is Not Enough” is a really good start for this album: after a short time you feel like home, because although Brother Firetribe take many elements from different bands they still have their own, unique sound. The Brother Firetribe mood is right back! The opener is topped by the following two tracks “Far Away From Love” and “For Better Or For Worse”. Here you find all the trademarks you love about this genre: tons of harmonies, cheesy keyboards, nice guitars, great hooks and this all is topped by ultra-catchy choruses. What do you want more? With that said I could finish my review, because all songs come along with same structures and style, which is at the same time something to complain about, because the variety remains on track. After five songs the album gets a bit repetitive and also the keys are a bit too cheesy and dominant for my taste. Somewhere in the middle Brother Firetribe also run out of the cool hooks I mentioned above. Tracks like “Hanging By A Thread” and “Trail Of Tears” can’t keep up with previous songs.

But with the Sammy Hagar cover “Winner Takes It All” (which is very close to the original) and “Tired Of Dreaming” the band is back in top-form. “Reality Bites” features a nice bridge, but the chorus left me disappointed. “Close To The Bone” is another solid tune. So the overall impression of the song material on “Diamond In The Firepit” is solid. Compared to older tracks like “Valerie”, “One Single Breath”, “I’m On Fire”, “Midnite Queen” or “Runaways” the new ones sadly can’t hold the same level, except of three tunes, which is not that much in my opinion.

Sound wise you could think this album was recorded back in 1985, which will make all those 80’s fanatics of you very happy. The performances are all very good and authentic. You’ll get to hear some pretty good guitar solos and raspy vocals in a polished production. This time everything seems to be a bit softer – now you have to decide if you like this or not. Personally I would have preferred a more rocking’ sound.

Yeah and that’s it – Brother Firetribe succeeded again in giving you the ultimate 80’s feeling, a trip back in time if you want so. Unfortunately, the songs get repetitive and a bit uninspired after a strong first half, which tarnishes the overall impression slightly. Nevertheless traditional AOR lovers will get what they are looking for. “Diamond In The Firepit” is a solid comeback of this talented band. Welcome back, Brother Firetribe!

 

Written by Thomas

Ratings    Thomas    7/10

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