Label: Spinefarm Records
Available: Jan 26, 2017
- Sunbound 01:34
- Help Is On The Way 03:55
- Indelible Heroes 03:51
- Taste Of A Champion 03:36
- Last Forever 03:53
- Give Me Tonight 03:44
- Shock 04:06
- Strangled 04:06
- Heart Of The Matter 03:58
- Restless Heart 04:33
- Big City Dream 04:13
- Phantasmagoria 05:07
Vocals, Pekka Ansio Heino,
Keyboards, Tomppa Nikulainen,
Bass, Jason Flinck,
Drums, Hannes Pirila,
Guitars, Emppu Vuorinen ,
Brother Firetribe, the five-strong outfit that we are never sure will be able to make a ‘next’ album thanks to the demands of Nightwish placed upon guitarist, Emppu Vuorinen, have found a slot in the diary, cleared the schedules, stepped up to the plate and pulled 12 tracks out of the hat to deliver their fourth album ‘Sunbound’.
The 12 new pieces of music, including lead track ‘Taste Of A Champion’, the video for which can be found below, have been mixed by Finnish studio-meister Mikko Karmila (Nightwish, Children Of Bodom, Stratovarius). It’s the first new release from the band since 2014’s ‘Diamond In The Firepit’, also the last time the band played the UK, so for me, knowing we get them back in October at Rockingham on the back of a new album is great news indeed.
If you don’t know this fantastic band, do not dismiss them as another 80s AOR copycat outfit. What Brother Firetribe bring to the table is modern Scandinavian melodic rock with Vuorinen’s signature guitar work and stellar vocals from Pekka that set the band apart from so many modern pretenders.
Opening with an instrumental track, the album immediately brings to mind West Coast Melodic AOR, a real arena sound that wouldn’t be out of place on the soundtrack of a certain boxing underdog franchise. It leads immediately into ‘Help Is On The Way’, a track that harks back to the style that drew people to the band when their ‘False Metal’ debut was released back in 2006. The solo from Emppu reaffirms why the band present a different, original and modern take on the genre and as it merges into the lick that opens future single ‘Indelible Heroes’ it’s clear, only 2 full songs in, that the album is going to be a winner.
If the aim is to reinvigorate and re-energise a musical style that contains massive hooks, melodies that Disney wish they could write, vocals that soar so high they leave you gasping for oxygen, then Brother Firetribe succeed.
“Follow your heart and relive the taste of a champion”, so sings Pekka on the lead single. If Hollywood ever decides to remake the aforementioned boxing franchise, they have the lead single ready and waiting to go. The song has already been used as the theme for a major Finnish advertising campaign and it’s no surprise, it’s the sort of song that only needs 30 seconds to bed itself into the brain. The advert is currently in circulation for S Group, a Finnish network of companies that operate in the retail and service sectors, that has more than 1,600 outlets in Finland.
‘Shock’ with its anthemic chant along chorus should become a highlight of a live set if and when we get to see the band perform again. Prolific touring is not their strongest attribute but when one of you is the lead guitarist in Nightwish, well, it’s not surprising. ‘Strangled’ also delivers a powerhouse track with Pekka’s vocals really driving the song from start to finish.
Even the songs remind us of a time when AOR ruled the airwaves and bands like Foreigner and Survivor were commonplace on the radio. ‘Heart of the Matter’, ‘Restless Heart’, ‘Big City Dream’ all suggest people moving to L.A. to live the west coast dream. It’s sun, sea and surf, pretty good from a band whose country is swathed in darkness for half the year.
The save the best for last though and with ‘Phantasmagoria’, they deliver five minutes of epic rock, opening with a beat that feels like it could be the opening music to ‘Top Gun II’ should it ever get made.
A superb return for the band, a marked improvement over the previous release and an album that delivers everything we have come to hope for from the Finns.
Brother Firetribe return to the UK for the 3 day Rockingham festival later this year, appearing on either 20, 21, 22 of October 2017 at Nottingham Trent University. Anyone that saw them at FireFest in 2014 will know just what to expect.
Review: Adrian Hextall