Review by Andy Hawes for MPM
Fireborn is a German female-fronted Hard Rock band formerly known as Dislike Silence and Reflections is their first album since changing their name.
They are fronted by a powerhouse vocalist called Jenny who sounds quite similar to Halestorm vocalist Lzzy Hale and their debut album is a gloriously riotous rollercoaster ride through a range of modern and classic Hard Rock styles, big on guitar and even bigger on melody. The whole album is as catchy as hell and just begs to be played on repeat at astonishing volume.
Opening track ‘Young Heart Dies’ is the perfect introduction to the Fireborn sound, with colossal slabs of guitar powerchords, harmonised twin guitar leads and the sort of chorus that is so catchy that it should come with a health warning! Jenny’s vocals have just the right amount of rasp and bite as she roars her way through the lyrics. It is a hugely powerful statement of intent for sure!
‘As Long As I Love You’ is a modern Hard Rock anthem built on staccato powerchords, enormous slabs of guitar and gargantuan melodies with savagely throat-shredding vocals and melodic harmonised guitars and this is pretty much the theme of the entire album. The production is big and beefy with a real intensity to the massed layers of guitar and the powerful drumming.
‘Angel In Need’ drops the pace and the intensity for a rather wonderful modern Hard Rock ballad which, despite very familiar chord sequences, hits the spot with oodles of melody, both in the vocals and the lead guitars.
The use of cleaner guitars and quieter passages works well here to break up the guitar onslaught and add further interest and dynamism to the sound. It is followed by ‘The Eye of a Hurricane’ which is more mid-tempo and continues the theme of huge melodies and enormous guitar-fuelled modern Hard Rock instrumentation before ‘Deep Blue Water’ which has a more ballad-like feel with more clean guitar passages and a delightful harmonised twin guitar solo.
‘Proud and Ashamed’ picks up the pace again and demonstrates the importance of track sequencing in the overall impact of an album on the listener, as this was exactly what the doctor ordered after the slightly slower pace and less intensity in the preceding tracks.
This is followed by another slower-paced track. ‘Guide You Home’ is a quite delightful acoustic ballad where vocalist Jenny shows her more sensitive side with some delightfully clean vocals before opening up with that wonderful rasp on the choruses. Layered choirs of backing vocals add further delicacy to a really lovely track. It’s very different to the rest of the album, yet fits in beautifully.
The Hard Rock returns with a vengeance on the mighty ‘Pack of Wolves’ which is characterised by heavy, chugging, down-tuned guitars and more insanely catchy melodies. Lead guitar melodies weave in and around the vocal melodies in the verses before the gargantuan chorus hammers home. This is followed by ‘You Seem So Far’ which again combines the massed heavy guitars with cleaner picked passages and more insanely catchy vocal melodies.
This is one of those tracks where the chord sequences are achingly familiar, but it just doesn’t matter because the combination of vocal and guitar melodies gives it its own identity. It is also a great example of how having a good and secure grasp of how to write a good Pop-Rock hook can add massively to the Hard Rock vibe of an album. This track is tailor-made for Rock Radio and for playing at ear-splitting volume in an open topped car roaring down the open road – awesome stuff indeed.
By now, we know exactly what to expect from this album and the remaining tracks certainly do not disappoint! ‘Ferryman’, ‘Punchline’ and ‘Malicious Rose’ follow the well-established themes of huge slabs of thunderous guitar, unfathomably catchy melodies, throat-shredding vocals and highly melodic twin lead guitar solos. The more I listen to this, the more I’m enjoying it and I keep finding myself thinking that Fireborn would absolutely slay in the live arena!
We’re hitting the home straight now and with the first single ‘Done With You’, Fireborn once again manage to combine massive melodies with thunderous Hard Rock power. The riffs in this one are probably the heaviest on the album and the groove is relentless in its intensity while Jenny vents her bile on a savage lead vocal. This is followed by the final track, ‘Set Off’ which contains more Pop-savvy hooklines and is a ridiculously catchy and up-tempo way to end an absolute cracker of an album.
Phew! That was quite something! This is a band I’d never heard of prior to receiving this album for review and I have to say I’m very glad that it was sent to me! On the strength of this, I clearly need a lot of Fireborn in my life! This is exactly what I want from a modern Hard Rock album.
It is big, bold, brash, insanely melodic and unafraid to wear its Pop influences on its sleeve amongst all the thundering Rock. The guitar work is excellent – highly melodic with a load of harmonised twin leads as well as some cool shredding moments and colossal riffs and powerchords.
However the star of the show is undoubtedly vocalist Jenny, whose voice is absolutely awesome throughout. Fans of Halestorm should check this out immediately as it’s every bit as good as their recent product, but anyone who loves melodic modern Hard Rock of any description should buy or stream this album as soon as it is released as it’s an absolute belter! Very, very highly recommended indeed!