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BONFIRE Double X LZ Records (2006)

The title of German melodic rockers' Bonfire's latest album is a reminder of their longevity, though singer Claus Lessman and guitarist Hans Ziller are the only mainstays of the band from their first album 20 years ago.

Bonfire's material has always reminded me of a slightly smoother Scorpions or Dokken and this CD has its rocking moments, even if they occasionally lapse into cliché (But We Still Rock). Day 911 and So What? give the album a storming start and finish.

More surprisingly, there are a high number of mellower moments, driven by acoustic guitars in the mould of Firehouse, Tyketto or even Nelson. Lessman's voice sounds superb on the likes of Cry for Help, Whats on Your Mind and Hard to Say, but though I love that style of music, I wonder whether it is what fans of the band's ‘Fireworks' heyday will be looking for.

Even more controversial will be ‘Rap is Crap': not so much for the biting lyrical content which condemns the hypocrisy of record companies who sell violence and hate, but for the fact the song is delivered in a rock-rap style. I enjoyed the novelty of it though.

In short, an album that is likely to divide their fans, but one I would still recommend to fans of Gotthard and quality European commercial rock.


Review by Andy Nathan

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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