Finnish hard rock heroes BROTHER FIRETRIBE have been releasing highly melodic music since 2006, the year their debut album, “False Metal,” came out. In the meantime, they have released three more albums as well as a live DVD, 2010’s “Live at Apollo.” In the new line-up, as guitarist Roope Riihijärvi replaced Emppu Vuorinen earlier this year, the band is ready to present their fifth studio effort, “Feel the Burn,” which is set to be released on 18 September 2020 via Odyssey Music.
The album was previewed by the up-tempo and uplifting single, “Rock in the City,” the intense and dance-friendly “Bring on the Rain,” the cinematic and darkly sounding “Night Drive,” and the greatly anthemic “Chariot of Fire,” which has nothing to do with the 1981 movie of the same name, or the beautifully composed score by Greek musician Vangelis. In between these four singles, the listeners can already identify the main direction this album takes: moody, varied, and light, a sound that almost seems odd coming from a country like Finland, where gloomy melodic death metal is at home. Nonetheless, songs like “Arianne,” ballad “Love is a Lie,” or “Candle in the Window” have a darker shade to them that comes mostly from the lyrics and the vocal delivery, while the guitars and drums add a somber feel to the music, not being as melodic as on the other tracks. On the other hand, opening track, “I Salute You,” is quite an optimistic and rocking number that gets the listeners in a great mood with its positive message and keyboard soundscapes.
Musically, Tomppa Nikulainen’s lush keys bring a lighter touch to the music, making the album easy to listen to and bright. To compensate for this, Pekka Heino’s vocals are deep and, for the most part somber, grounding the album; “Battle Ground,” “Love is a Lie,” or “Night Drive,” are good examples of the vocals/keys interplay. Newcomer Roope Riihijärvi acquits himself admirably of the guitar parts, with some excellent solos and melodic lines. The solos in “Battle Ground,” “Bring on the Rain,” and “Arianne” are especially great and soulful, albeit short, while the melodies in such tracks like “Chariot of Fire” or “Ticking Away” are lively and energetic, giving the songs fortitude and a bit of heaviness. The rhythmic section formed by bassist Jason Flinck and drummer Hannes Pirilä lay down some powerful grooves that will make the listeners move to the beat, as is the case with “Battle Ground” or “I Salute You,” not to mention the highly addictive “Chariot of Fire.”
The structure of the album is worth pointing out as the music comes at you in a sort of ebb-and-flow motion. To detail, the fact that upbeat songs like “Night Drive,” “Bring on the Rain,” or “Ticking Away” are in between more heavy-hearted tracks as “Arianne,” “Love is a Lie,” or “Candle in the Window” gives the album more dynamism and deepens the contrast. The two moods bounce off of each other neatly, neither being overbearing, but then again the Finns have a knack of balancing these two aspects in their music. “Feel the Burn” is no exception to this rule, even if it’s melodic rock and AOR (Adult-Oriented Rock) rules.
To sum it up, “Feel the Burn” is a very enjoyable album with many highlights and bombastic moments. The band’s incredible ability to write catchy tunes is well displayed throughout this album, from the rich and textured soundscapes to the earworm choruses (and even verses), all the way to the general feel-good vibe of the music. “Feel the Burn” is a must-listen for fans of BROTHER FIRETRIBE as well as lovers of good music in general. There’s something for everybody on this vibrant album.
Written by Andrea Crow
- I Salute You
- Night Drive
- Chariot Of Fire
- Bring On The Rain
- Love Is A Lie
- Ticking Away
- Battle Ground
- Candle In The Window
- Rock In The City
Pekka Heino – vocals
Roope Riihijärvi – guitar
Jason Flinck – bass
Tomppa Nikulainen – keyboards
Hannes Pirilä – drums
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