If there is one thing the German’s know well, it is their power metal, so there is no suprise that German Label Pure Noise have picked up Sunless Sky from the USA and are releasing their debut album Firebreather.
Made up of fourteen tracks of solid melodic power metal the experience in past bands shows through with Sunless Sky, with many of the band members well known in the USA for their past ventures including Erecto Hector, Attaxe and Ritual.
Undeniable is the quality of Juan Ricardo’s vocals, which transpires commendably throughout the album of legends of the genre notably Bruce Dickinson. This is a credit to Juan, who can sure belt out the high notes.
Opening track Subzero makes me want to don my best heathen Viking warrior outfit and go charging into battle to pillage, meaning that second track Deathmachine could have been written about me, were that what I had done. There are some tight bass lines from Jocko Jermann on this track.
Title track Firebreather opens with some slide guitar and provides a classic power metal track with a little tempo change. The rock sensibilities of Immortality are the first to really catch my ear, before some tight mirrored guitar work and a wicked bass line. A definite stand out track for me. This is the sort of song that can bring power metal into the 21st Century.
Galloping through some sturdy power metal numbers such as Fear, Grind You Down and Human Timebomb, we happen upon the final third of the album which is not as melodic and light as the songs that precede it. Starting with Air Raid which is a much heavier track than others on the album with some dark deep riffs from guitarists Dave Kirk and Harry Hllock. The focus on this song is less on the vocals than on some dirty chords. There is a sweet, if not too technical guitar solo on Planet – X, before some fast eargasmic riffage on Solitude which is backed by some seriously hard, quality drumming from Rob Brandt. This is the outstanding track on the album for me. I love the change in sound at 2mins 40secs. There is so much texture to this song, you have to listen to it several times to take it all in.
Candys Gone Bad is a good closing track, which works well despite being out of kilter with all that has gone before it. It is much more rocky and adds another flavour to the album, aided by the class guest vocals of Sandy Kruger. I would love to hear a duet with her on a future release. As I hang up my Viking costume I can confidently say that Firebreather is a dexterous debut from Sunless Sky.
Firebreather is released worldwide via Pure Noise Records on 8th August 2014.
- The Whaler
- Grind You Down
- Human Time Bomb
- Air Raid
- Planet – X
- Candys Gone Bad
Photo Credit : Sunset6Photography