Flames of Fire – Self-Titled

 Posted by on February 21, 2022 at 23:51  Add comments
Feb 212022
 

When Christian Liljegren (of the Narnia fame) first met with Mats-Åke Andersson back in 1987, a camaraderie was built over mutual admiration of musical influences and bands such as Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy, Europe, Madison and Rainbow. The two friends decided to stay in touch and collaborated on various projects spread across years, Mats-Åke helped composed intro which Narnia used for its first tour, while promoting their debut album Awakening. Both had tremendous ideas which they discussed every time an opportunity presented which finally took fruition with “Flames of Fire” taking shape and form in the spring of 2021.

The duo started looking out to find the remaining members for the band, and were able to secure Per Schelander (from House of Shakira, Astrakhan, ex. Royal Hunt, and Pain of Salvation) on bass; Stephen Carlson on guitars; and Jani Stefanovic (from Solution .45, The Waymaker, ex. Divinefire) who filled in various shoes that of guitarist, drummer, keyboards and strings. With the core team in place, the band chose Sound Pollution for distribution, CJ Grimmark for mastering the album. The album is set to release on the March 18th 2022 under the Melodic Passion Records label.

As I skimmed through the album, I got a flashback from the 80’s, bringing in fond memories of listening to the old Iron maiden records I had as a teenager. The album opens up with an ambient intro on “New Dawn” with a captivating guitar riff and a cinematic soundscape. Next up in “Gloria” the band brings in an aggressive stance having powerful lyrics paired with guitar riffs (with added seconds) and a throbbing bass line which leads to an eclectic guitar solo that’s part mirrored on the bass. Just as we are about to reach to the end, the vocals shift scales, a true singing prowess. Incredible!

The title song, “Flames of Fire” has elements that makes it an amazing sing along song, with a catchy chorus over a rugged guitar riffs that supplements the sound and a blazing guitar solo that adds colour to the song. “Madness” is a tightly packed song that holds on to its pace perfectly throughout the breadth. The vocals drive the song forward, and the incredible vibratos toward its culmination showcase brilliance. “I am” rocks it hard with palm muted jarred guitar riffs, a melodic verse/chorus that stands out and will get you singing while keeping you off your feet headbanging. The guitars duelling during the solo is a tease with both different and dissonant approaches fitting perfectly to the song.

A mixture of heavy guitar chugging alongside two guitars riffing (added seconds) gives “Time to live” a tremendous and ecstatic start. As always, the vocalist takes the song a notch higher, be it in pitch or flair, but what fascinated me here was the mindboggling bass solo that surprised and gave me goose bumps. “Solution” is the longest song on the album starts off with a face melting guitar riff, it sounds more like a prayer (similar to a power ballad) with every band member chiming in and bringing in tremendous soul while crafting this masterpiece. The blitzing guitar solo that stands in the middle gives a hypnotic and maddening vibe, driving to a more gothic sound towards the end of the song.

“Soldiers of the King” is as fast paced as “Madness” and as heavy as “Time to live”. The guitars supplement and provide a power platform for Christian to go full blown on his vibrato, which he does flawlessly. The album ends as it starts with an ambient cinematic soundscape with “End theme”.

Production – The production on this album was amazing, Jani Stefanovic and CJ Grimmark do an excellent job as producers, and I loved how everything on this album was raw and rugged, and this has to be the tightest line-up in the recent times.

Conclusion – What more can I say than what has been said already, this is a tremendous mellifluous record with so much soul put into it. Make sure you enjoy every bit of this whimsical and fantastic ride.

Rating: 9/10

Written by: Ankit Sood

Track Listing:

  1. New Dawn
  2. Gloria
  3. Flames of Fire
  4. Madness
  5. I Am
  6. Time to live
  7. Solution
  8. Soldiers of the King
  9. End Theme

Release Date: March 19th. 2022

Record Label: Melodic Metal Records

Band Members:
Christian Liljegren – Vocals
Mats-Åke Andersson – Guitars, composer
Jani Stefanovic – Guitars, keyboards, drums & producer
Stephen Carlson – Guitars
Per Schelander – Bass

Social Media: Facebook / Pre-order album / Merchandise

Video for ‘Gloria’

Video for ‘Madness’

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