Following quickly after the success of Fire's 2009 release Thrill Me, Avenue of Allies (AoA) brings the bands debut work Ignite. A reissue for the band, but a first issue for AoA, Ignite was only published on the band's home turf, the island of Malta. Just like Thrill Me, this disc is unadulterated melodic hard rock, Eighties-style, with a strong emphasis on the rock n roll side of things. Songs like Conspiracy, Get Out of My Way, Taste This, and especially the fantastic Fire Flyer are deliberate rockers that can get your toes tapping and your fist pumping. Then Fire can back off with a subtle groove on Manhunter. A good power ballad isn't far away on Goin Down, showing Fire's ability to inspire rather than soak with saccharine. But, ultimately, Fire is at their best when the combine that spirited rock beat with strong melodies and terrific hooks as on Away for Good or Home and Dry.
Ignite contains two bonus tracks for this reissue: a cover of Bryan Adam's Run to You and a Christmas song, Miss You this Christmas. As to the former it's fine, but it will more likely cause you to want the original. To the latter, it's more sentimental than cheer for Christmas. Overall, Fire's Ignite encapsulates the band's strong beginnings in creating fundamental melodic hard rock. If you liked 2009's Thrill Me, you should definitely add this disc to your collection. Recommended.
Wertung: 8,5 von 10 Neues altes Lebenszeichen der Hardrocker aus Malta. Denn “Ignite” ist kein neuer Rundling, sondern “lediglich” eine Neuveröffentlichung des ersten Werkes aus 2006, das nur auf ihrer Heimatinsel zu haben war. So ganz einfallslos gingen Band und Label aber nicht an die Sache heran, denn mit einer Neuinterpretation von BRYAN ADAMS´ “Run To You” und dem Song “Miss You This Christmas” (ja Herrschaften, bald isses wieder soweit), der nur als Radio-Single veröffentlicht wurde finden sich 2 weitere Kaufanreize auf “Ignite”, auch wenn ich nicht davon ausgehe, dass in unseren Breiten diese Scheibe schon bei vielen Fans im Regal steht. Und wer den Nachfolger “Thrill Me” cool fand, wird auch beim Erstling zugreifen müssen. Für denjenigen ist hier auch schon Schluß mit meiner Rezension. Platte auf dem Einkaufszettel notiert und ab dafür. Für Leute, die FIRE noch nicht kennen ist das aber ein guter Zeitpunkt, die Malteser kennenzulernen. “Get Out Of My Way” nennt sich der erste Song der Platte, und er ebnet mit seiner Coolness tatsächlich den Weg für die kommenden 50 Minuten. Unterm Strich kommen die Songs dieses Debüts sogar noch frischer rüber als auf dem Nachfolger. “Make Believe” oder das geniale “Fire Flyer” lassen auch den letzten Zweifler verstummen. “Taste This (Rock´n Roll)” ist eine etwas andere Nummer, die neben “Behind Your Eyes” auch auf dem Debüt beweist, wie variabel die Malteser sind. Außerdem haben wir ja noch das fast flotte “Conspiracy Theory”, das den regulären Teil dieser Neuveröffentlichung abschließt. Die oben schon erwähnte Cover-Version von “Run To You” ist gut umgesetzt und lässt den Stil von FIRE mit einfließen. Kommen wir zum Schluß noch zum ersten Weihnachts-Song, den ich dieses Jahr zu Gehör bekommen habe: “Miss You This Christmas” hört man zum Glück nicht an, dass es ein Weihnachts-Song ist, nur der Text lässt darauf schließen – also eine schöne Abwechslung zum Einheitsbrei der üblichen Musik zur jährlichen Geldmaschine Nr. 1. Mein Fazit: FIRE sind der heißeste Anwärter für den Hardrock-Award der Urlaubsinsel Malta. Und nicht nur das, auch im internationalen Vergleich können die Jungs ordentlich mithalten, das möchte ich auch noch gerne anmerken. Denn nach 2 Scheiben stützen sich diese 8,5 Punkte keineswegs auf irgendwelche Exoten-Boni. FIRE absolutely Thrills Me! Stefan
Thrill me review truemetal.it http://truemetal.it/reviews.php?op=albumreview&id=8609
Thrill me review (Italian)
Avenue Of Allies Music/ Frontiers Records
I Fire sono una formazione maltese non proprio di primo pelo, on the road già da una dozzina d’anni, con all’attivo un album di debutto (“Ignite”) datato 2006. “Thrill me” conferma quanto di buono avevamo già sentito nella precedente fatica, mantenendo invariata la direzione musicale. Il lavoro in questione è un album divertente con un ottimo ritmo, coinvolgente sin dal primo ascolto, merito di una sezione ritmica di tutto rispetto. Il filone musicale di riferimento è l'hard rock melodico, anche se loro stessi si definiscono come un mix tra Whitesnake e Judas Priest. Nel 2010 il rischio di essere obsoleti è dietro l'angolo, questo per un discorso squisitamente commerciale, perché come ben sappiamo il rock non invecchia mai ed infatti le canzoni contenute in questo cd filano lisce, complice proprio il ritmo sostenuto. Tutto il gruppo ne esce a testa alta per il risultato di quanto siano riusciti a racchiudere in questo album, anche se forse il chitarrista Robert Longo (che, mi preme sottolineare, dichiara che il suo gruppo preferito siano i nostrani Elio E Le Storie Tese!) spicca rispetto al resto del gruppo ma per il semplice fatto di essere quello che ha composto tutte le canzoni del lotto! Nota di merito per la copertina, tanto semplice, quanto bella ed accattivante: si sa che un bel paio di tette attirano gli occhi maschili, un po' come il miele per le api. La padrona di questo decolleté diventa attrice protagonista nel videoclip realizzato per l'omonima canzone (il link lo potete trovare direttamente sul sito del gruppo www.firemalta.com) nel quale i musicisti suonano sopra a dei cubi in pieno stile Whitesnake e i giochini sexy con le labbra si sprecano, dal mettere il rossetto, al giocare con la lingua con una fragola o con una collana di perle.
Review by Andrea Lami http://www.rockrebelmagazine.com/cd-reviews-pag-14/
Thrill me review When you think of Malta, what comes to mind? The yellow buses of Valletta, the famous Church of St. Mary at Mosta? Well, now you can add the name of Maltese band Fire to that list, as their second album 'Thrill Me' is surely going to put them firmly on the map as a band to watch out for. There's definitely a wink and a nod to the late 80's - early 90's here, linking them to such groups as Giant, No Sweat and Y&T to name a few, where you'll see on 'Thrill Me', that has to be one of the best opening tracks you'll hear this year. The bass beat alone makes the song, whilst the sudden bursts of powerful guitar could blow a hold in your speakers. No wonder it's a favourite on the live circuit. If that wasn't enough, 'Get It On' ups the ante as it rocks yer socks off with it's raw sounding guitars from the word go, the heavy feel literally making you think "Jeez, these are from Malta??". 'That Kind Of Woman' has touches of keyboards for a slight mellower change in places, sounding not too unlike Gotthard to name a comparison, as it still rocks like a bugger as well. Not to be outdone, the gloves are off on 'Come with Me', a 100 m.p.h. corker that just keeps going and going in its old school way, it's mind-blowing solos flashing in and out at will. Surely the band will have been worn out by the end of the song, as I was and I was just listening to it. Fortunately 'Always There' is more of a mid-tempo affair in the AOR vein with the keyboards brought more up front, making the huge wall of sound as good as it can get, and wouldn't be out of place on Giant's classic album 'Last Of The Runaways'. One for the fists in the air fans out there. 'Hollywood' slows things down enough for you to get your head back together after such an onslaught of the previous songs, although the guitars still keep biting away to keep things rocked up and interesting, whilst the chorus is bound to have you shouting "C'mon, C'mon" in unison with vocalist Kenneth Calleja. The band get themselves back to the heavier side with 'Crazy Lovin', the drums getting a good old hammering by Mark Abela, who adds, dare I say, some experimental "emo" touches for good measure at the start and midway through. Seems Lost Prophets aren't the only ones to master that then! It's time to chill out with the blues rock ballad 'No More Pain', it's airy keyboards softening things when needed, and as someone else mentioned Danny Bowes would be well at home singing this track as it has hints of Thunder running through it. (Oh, the memories!). A very gritty 'Where Are We Goin' pulls any listener right back into the hard edged theme again with its Whitesnake aura hanging over the song like a veil, yet not an exact replica of anything said band have done lately, more in the past maybe? Again those drums and guitars giving everything they've got, possibly up to 11 as it goes. You get more of the same with 'Lost Without You' where the guitars via Joe Vella and Robert Longo eat their way through yet another non-stop pile-driver that would tier most bands out if they tried it. Quite exhilarating is a term that could easily be used and quite rightly so. These keyboards are used to their full atmospheric best on the closing track 'Back Home', it's easy listening, melodic groove, providing another foot tapping winner. There's still short bursts of slick, rocked up guitar and bass via Charles Cassar, but they don't spoil the song and its cool vibe that is has, thus ending the album on a high. It's great to see such a good rock band emerging from what is normally thought of as a tranquil, easy-going Mediterranean island, and I hope the biker gang at St. George's Bay appreciate how lucky they are to have Fire on their "home turf" as I'm sure the band will set the rock scene alight with 'Thrill Me'. Check it out and also enjoy the album cover as a bonus!! Review by: Bob
FIRE 'Thrill Me' Avenue Of Allies (2009) www.firemalta.com
Malta is not a country you naturally think of for rock acts (although as any Stoke City supporter knows our manager Tony Pulis is half Maltese!) but that could all change with Fire. Taking their nod from bands like Y&T, Whitesnake, Gotthard and Pretty Maids, Fire have produced an album full of quality hard rock tunes with just the right amount of lighter-in-the-air-moments like 'No More Pain', with its blues refrain. 'Back Home' sees a keyboard intro circa Whitesnake's '1987' album and the song could be Whitesnake as it has a bluesy backing and some tasty Hammond organ touches (not sure who plays keyboards on the album but they do a fine job throughout adding to the overall sound).
The title track and 'Come With Me' are both rock tunes bands like Firehouse and Gotthard would love to record I am sure. 'Hollywood' has that 80's Sunset Strip feel and would be perfect for a summer's day. 'Lost Without You' is my personal favourate track on the album for two reasons, the strong chorus and a massive riff that could steamroller Tarmac!
For a band's second album Fire have already set themselves ahead of many contempories and with a decent push and some airplay they deserve success. Mind you the cover should grab most people's attention...
**** Jason Ritchie
FIRE Thrill Me © 2009 Avenue Of Allies Music (09 06 0007) melodic hard rock studio album 11 tracks - TT 50:58 release date: October 30, 2009 http://www.firemalta.com AOR & melodic (hard) rock
Can someone tell the lady on the cover how to use headphones? Thank you very much. All joking apart, this “Thrill Me” is the second album from Fire, a melodic hard rock band from … Malta. I don’t know how good or bad their first album (2006’s “Ignite”) was, but this brand-new one is surely more than just a pleasant affair with straight ahead rockers in the vein of classic bands like FireHouse, Gotthard and Thunder to name but a few. Opener and title track “Thrill Me” immediately sets the tone for a little more than fifty minutes of listening pleasure. Backed by an intriguing video clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbyrL-4EPxA ), the band couldn’t have opened their second album with a better rock anthem. Other highlights include “Always There”, the sleazy DAD-like “Crazy Lovin’”, the bluesy ballad “No More Pain”, the guitar-driven “Lost Without You” and – last but not least – the closing 6-minute epic “Back Home” (no cover of Golden Earring’s hit of the same name). Fire may come from a small country like Malta, they just ooze international class! Check them out now! (CL)
CD Review Fire – Thrill Me :
Fire hail from Malta and their second album delivers eleven power cuts, produced to the highest order by guitar player Robert Longo. The tracks combine outstanding melodies and infectious hooklines with the raw live power of the band. The CD opens with the title track “Thrill Me”, a cracking Hard Rock anthem, followed by the equally rocking “Get It On”. “Always There” has a winning groove and an irresistible hookline in the best AOR vein. Dave Meniketti of Y & T or Danny Bowes of Thunder would have loved to sing the bluesy power ballad “No More Pain” for any of their bands outputs. Other highlights are the stomping, hard rockin’ and still very melodic tracks “Where Are We Goin’“ and ”Lost Without You”. For the final thrill Fire have saved a six minute epic with an atmospheric opening of keyboard sounds, a sublte organ in the background and another glorious guitar performance. It’s called “Back Home” and it is a fine and worthy closing track of a Classic Hard Rock album, that is a very satisfying affair in every respect. Gregor Klee (90 / 100)
Band : Fire Album : Thrill Me Interview with: Robert Longo (guitar), Kenneth Calleja (vocals) Interviewed by: Michael Bugeja for Times Of Malta
Q: You are a successful band in your home country of Malta. Still there will be a lot of people that might not have heard of Fire before, can you please introduce the band by telling us about the history of the band.
A(Robert): Fire started out in 1998 as a cover band. Over the years the band has gone through a lot of line-up changes, in fact our singer Kenneth is the only original member in our current line-up. When Pexja and I joined Fire about five years ago, the band had only one original song, but we were very interested in becoming involved and over the course of the years the original material became more and more, which led ultimately to the recording and the release of our first album “Ignite” in 2006. The following year we shared the stage with the Swiss Hard Rock icons Krokus and we also did a couple of gigs in the UK. Later in 2007 we recorded a radio single called “Miss You This Christmas Time”, the song will now be featured in the movie “Maltageddon” along with the title track from our brand new album “Thrill Me”. We also did a video for the song “Thrill Me”, which you can see at various sites on the internet.
Q: You are well known for your live performances, so I guess you love being in front of a live audience ?
A(Kenneth): Playing live is a great feeling. There is so much energy and the songs take on another dimension. Opening for Krokus back in 2007 was an incredibly gratifying experience. A(Robert): When I look at our audience it’s practically all ages, from teenagers to middle-aged people and older ones too, and they all share the same passion for our music.
Q: Please let us know a bit more about the song writing process of the band.
A(Robert): The live situation and the studio are two very different situations, in the studio the possibilities are endless, you can take your music anywhere. Actually all of our songs are “born” in the recording studio. For the most part I am writing the music and after demoing a song I usually pass it on to Kenneth who writes the lyrics. The band then records the track and we all rehearse the final version. This way we can work out how to adapt the songs for a live setting.
Q: Would you agree to the statement, that the new songs are a bit heavier than the ones on “Ignite” and what is your view on today’s Hard Rock scene ?
A(Robert): Well, we’ve tried to infuse new modern sounds and elements into our signature Hard Rock sound. We love this musical style with its driving energy, powerful rhythms and prominent melodic traits. Hard Rock has survived changing trends for over four decades and it’s still going strong and even though it may no longer be the preferred style of the masses, it still commands a loyal and dedicated worldwide following. The overall sound of the new album is harder and edgier, with songs like “Come with Me” and “Where are Going” being considerably heavier and darker than any of the band’s previous offerings, but still the songs have the strong melodies we are known for. Highlights of the album include the ballad “No More Pain”, which reveals the band’s softer, bluesier side, and of course the title track ‘Thrill Me’, a foot-stomping crowd pleaser that has already garnered extensive airplay on local radio stations and we are currently number one on several local charts with this particular track. Q: What are the bands plans to in the near future ?
A(kenneth): The band has already lined up a couple of live concerts for the next weeks and months on Malta and we hope to get the chance to play abroad again. We are also talking with our German label “Avenue Of Allies” about the possibility of a re-issue of our debut album “Ignite” with some bonus tracks for the international market.
FIRE has been consistently active on the local music scene, releasing its debut album “Ignite” in August 2006 to a good reception from the local media. The band followed up this success by gigging with renowned international rock band Krokus and by obtaining first place in the 2006 Oktoberfest battle of the bands, as well as by conducting a series of performances in the UK during the summer of 2007. Over the years, the band has established a dedicated local following, as can be seen from the number of people visiting and commenting on the Band’s website and MySpace / facebook pages.
FIRE is presently in the process of completing its second album ‘Thrill Me’ (scheduled for released end July 2009). The band is currently making the arrangements necessary for the album’s launch performance, as well as for a number of pre- and post-launch performances, which will include performances in highly visible events.