Sunday, April 17, 2011

Blackguard - Firefight (2011)

If you are looking for some good ol' melodic death metal, "Firefight" is a great place to start. It is Blackguard's most recent album, and most refreshing to say the least. The Canadian based metal band has really put together a solid album. They are faster, heavier, and more melodic than they have ever been before.

After going through the short introduction track, the album breaks the first song entitled "Firefight." This fast pace, double bass pedal filled track gives a solid definition to what this album is, and what is to come. Immediately opening up with rapid kicks and snares, followed by layers of insane guitar notes shredding up and down the scales, making you want to thrash your head back and forth. It's filled with aggressive mid-range growling throughout the verses and choruses. Five minutes of incredible sound and song structure to start off the album.

As you are going through the album, you see that some of the tracks sound as if they came right out of a score written for a movie. A great example of this is track four, "Wastelands." It carries multiple string instruments and what sounds like a choir chanting in the beginning. What a great orchestral entrance to the song. The verses are filled with massive amounts of low, heavy growling, followed by blasting guitars chugging away. The song also carries impressive guitar solos that really keep you at the edge of your seat. It contains tons of thick bass lines accompanied by solid drumming and fast foot action. The strings come back into the song towards the end, as they are layered with another magnificent solo.

If you enjoyed the use of the chanting choir in the last track then you will definitely enjoy "Cruel Hands" and "The Path." These are both filled with epic greatness. The use of orchestral instruments are also included in these songs as well. They actually lean a little more towards the viking metal genre with melodic guitars and deathly toned vocals.

The album slows down for a few minutes with "Iblis." It contains mainly acoustic guitars and soft strings in the background. It is then accompanied by a beautiful female vocal that really completes the song. It is used more as an instrument than a deliverer of lyrics. The song gives a dark and eerie feeling to the album.

"The Blinding Light" is an absolute "must hear" song on the album. It delivers loud, powerful vocals and symphonic orchestral instruments that flows over their melodic guitar riffs and blazing solos. It is definitely the catchiest song on the album, incorporated with epic strings throughout the song. The drums will have you bobbing your head, without a doubt. Make sure you turn up the volume when you come across this melodic art work.

Blackguard has always been an well opening act, as they've opened for bands like Ensiferum, Epica, and Korpiklaani. However, after releasing this new album, it would not surprise me if they did a headlining North American tour. They definitely deserve one, that's for sure!


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