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Sunday, 2 April 2017

Reviews: Brother Firetribe, Heavy Tiger, Operose

Brother Firetribe: Sunbound (Spinefarm)

Finnish melodic rockers return with their first album since 2014. What's immediately evident is that this release is much more keyboard heavy than previous outings. First two tracks Help Is On The Way and their tribute fallen rock legends Indelible Heroes are both built around the huge synths of Tomppa. Now this increase use of keys change Brother Firetribe into a much more AOR-centric than they previously have been, hell they sound like Survivor on Taste Of A Champion.

This record has a running theme of carefree days filled with sunshine and loving the summer from the album title through to Last Forever and rocker Give Me Tonight all have a breezy carefree attitude the latter also displaying the guitar prowess of Erno and the vocals of Pekka. This record has more of a classic 80's sound than its predecessors and that's no bad thing but anyone expecting more lighter power metal of the older records this jump to the more radio friendly may put you off but don't let it Sunbound is yet another worthy addition to the Brother Firetribe discography. 7/10

Heavy Tiger: Glitter (Wild Kingdom Sounds)

Heavy Tiger are so resolutely stuck in the 70's glam rock scene that you can smell the grease-paint and PVC. The band is made up of three Swedish ladies, unashamedly decked out in gold catsuits on the cover and it's a huge cue to the music contained within.  It's part The Sweet, part The Darkness, part Cheap Trick, with a sprinkling of The Runaways if they played rockier songs and were fronted by Brody Dalle of The Distillers. From top to bottom this second album (their first was Saigon Kiss) is filled with power rock anthems like Shake Me and the driving No Tears In Tokyo they are perfect pop rockers, Feline Feeling adds a kookiness, while The Only Way Up has shout along optimism.

These three chicks kick ass punchy riffs and vocals come from Maja Linn  while Sara Frendin (bass) and Astrid Carsbring (drums) lock down the rhythm section on these ballsy, rock tracks that are just packed with attitude. It's the sort of rocking The Donnas used to do so well, packed to the brim with empowering, hook filled songs that just whizz by at an alarming pace, 11 punchy glam anthems for anyone who still regularly wears flares and stacked platform heels. 7/10

Operose: Footprints In The Hourglass (Lion Music)

The dictionary definition of Operose is "involving or displaying much industry or effort" which does seem to be a pretty good description of Operose the band, there is a lot of effort in just the first song on this record, clocking in at over 11 minutes Empty Mirrors (The Death Of Eurydice) is a monumental opening salvo, built on the neo-classical guitar playing of Joe McGurk and the drums of his Opposing Motion bandmate Kevin Deplanche the musical backing of this record is progressive/symphonic by the numbers, full of fluid solos and blast beats the record is complicated and with the addition of 'rising opera sensation' Jennifer Coleman the record sits in the Epica or Nightwish vein as she soars above the technicality.

As much effort as there has been put into this record, it rarely comes out of the symphonic metal comfort zone, as it's a debut record it's hard to be too critical but if they want any longevity, they need to find something that will allow them to break out of one of the most over-populated genres around. A technically proficient if a little generic debut. 6/10

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