Metal Overlord

Moshpit Mayhem

Gotthard – Firebirth

  Swiss band GOTTHARD have had it tough in recent times. The death of a founding member is never easy to recover from, when that founding member is also your lead singer, you have a mountain to climb. Steve Lee wasn’t only an immense singer, he was a showman, a man who would have a crowd of any size in the palm of his hand. He was a frontman with the pressence of Coverdale/Tyler/Plant etc. So how would Gotthard replace him, the answer is on their new album – Firebirth.

Step forward Nic Maeder.

Now I don’t believe that I was the only person who looked and said “WHO” when I first heard his name, I’d never heard of him. Don’t be put off by that fact. This lad can sing a bit.

Now to listen to this album if your an existing Gotthard fan isn’t going to be easy, you need to approach this with an open mind. If you are listening to Gotthard for the first time then turn it up and enjoy.

 

 

The album starts off with Starlight, a slow starting rocker that really grows on you as your listening to it. The opening guitar has almost a country twang to it, before slowly building into a all out rocker.

Next up is Give Me Real. This starts off on the heavier scale of things until the melodic chorus kicks in, this adds to the sing-along-ability of the song. 

Remember It’s Me is one of the album highlights. Starts off with a mournful guitar/vocal and builds into a mid paced rocker, reminds me of the song Need To Believe, off the last album with Steve Lee. There are strings, emotional solo and and excellent vocal once more.

Fight once again starts off as an all out rocker with a huge chunking riff. This is as menacing as Gotthard get without spitting in your face. The chorus is instantly singable without losing any of the tracks heaviness.

There’s not much to say about Yippie Aye Yay, its a fun song with a great drinking chorus, this will be an excellent drunken singalong song.

Tell Me is a gentle ballad, with an emotional almost pleading vocal.

Shine is the real grower on the album. A gentle mid paced song that manages to hang around in the back of your head, much to your own annoyance. An excellent melodic rock song.

The Story’s Over is the centre piece of the album, its up there with anything in the bands long, decorated history. This is a huge slab of brooding rock that I defy any rock fan not to enjoy. The song just builds and builds into a huge dramatic sounding chorus. Listen and enjoy!!

Right On is a straight edged rock song with a little bit of voice box thrown in, not the best song I’ve ever heard but by no means the worst either.

S.O.S has rolling drum beat at its heart, another balls out rock song with a huge chorus. Nic Maeder leaves us in no doubt that he has leather in those lungs.

Take It all Back comes in with some country style guitar before hitting another memorable chorus. This would be huge on rock radio.

I Can is a good old fashioned rock’n’ roll song, it offers nothing new but is very enjoyable and could well be a live favourite.

The albums closing track, Where Are You, could be the bands song for fallen comrade Steve Lee, a very emotional song with acoustic guitars and strings. The song asks many unanswered questions, the kind of questions you would ask a departed friend if you could see them just once more.

 

All in all this is an excellent album, and a great introduction for Nic Maeder. There will be the naysayers who despise every song on the album, just because its not Steve Lee.

Gotthard have layed some very good foundations on this record, if they can build on this then they could be on the verge of something very special.