Firewind

Allegiance

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AllMusic Review by

In many cases, Gen-X and Gen-Y bands of the '90s and 2000s have really poured on the irony when acknowledging the '70s or '80s. If Gen-X or Gen-Y musicians who sound a lot like Linkin Park or Incubus decide to play a Bon Jovi cover on-stage, they are likely to do it in a very ironic fashion. But irony has not been much of a factor in the power metal revival movement; in fact, most of the young power metal revival units that emerged in the '90s or early 2000s didn't offer even a trace of irony when they proclaimed their devotion to the old-school power metal of the '70s and '80s. And Allegiance, like other Firewind discs, is most definitely a no-irony zone. This 2006 recording underscores the fact that the Greek outfit takes its Ronnie James Dio/Iron Maiden/Judas Priest/Queensr├┐che worship every bit as seriously as jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove takes his love of Lee Morgan and Clifford Brown. Tracks like "Ready to Strike," "Dreamchaser," "The Essence" and "Falling to Pieces" aren't the least bit innovative, but no one can honestly accuse the material of not being solid or claim that Firewind's performances are not inspired and focused. "Breaking the Silence," which features female guest vocalist Tara, is a bit different from the rest of the album. The song is definitely power metal, but Tara's vocal style is more characteristic of gothic metal and goth rock than power metal; her performance is more Amy Lee (as in Evanescence) than Doro Pesch (whose work with Warlock established her as one of Europe's top female metal shouters back in the '80s). Regardless, there is never any question that Allegiance has a power metal orientation. Old-school power metal is obviously music that Firewind holds in high regard, and they continue to play it with conviction on this derivative but enjoyable outing.

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