Brother Firetribe

Heart Full of Fire

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AOR lives! And in Finland, of all places, thanks to melodic rock traditionalists Brother Firetribe -- a regular side project of Nightwish guitarist Emppu Vuorinen and Leverage singer Pekka Heino, that released its second full-length, Heart Full of Fire, in 2008. A throwback in every sense of the word, the album's 11 tracks pulse with the same familiar combination of catchy choruses, muscular guitar riffs, anthemic synthesizer melodies, and sparkling clean production values that original genre purveyors like Journey, REO Speedwagon, and Foreigner (to name but a few) ruled the airwaves with in the early '80s, but which haven't really dented the American charts since Giant's early-'90s attempts. Yet, AOR (which could stand for "all over the road") has continued to thrive selectively across the world over the years, and especially in Europe and Japan, where Heart Full of Fire standouts like "Wildest Dreams," "Runaways," and perfectly coiffed power ballad "Play It from the Heart" (featuring guest vocals from Nightwish siren Anette Onzon) will probably benefit from single releases and major promotional pushes, believe it or not. And why not? Any band knowledgeable and passionate enough (never mind ballsy enough) about their chosen musical style to cover Loverboy singer Mike Reno's obscure non-hit "Chasing the Angels" (from the Iron Eagle 2 soundtrack ferchrisake!) deserve respect for convictions. So too, do unrepentant AOR fans worldwide, who have one of their biggest champions of the new millennium in Brother Firetribe.

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