Gotthard - 2012 - Firebirth
01 – Starlight
02 – Give Me Real
03 – Remember It’s Me
04 – Fight
05 – Yippie Aye Yay
06 – Tell Me
07 – Shine
08 – The Story’s Over
09 – Right On
10 – S.O.S.
11 – Take It All Back
12 – I Can
13 – Where Are You
When Gotthard’s charismatic singer and frontman Steve Lee was killed in a traffic accident at the end of 2010, I honestly have to admit to not giving a dime anymore for the future of this very successful Swiss hard rock act. Lee was to a very large extent responsible for the band’s overall sound in my opinion and I simply couldn't see them overcome this loss.
About one and a half year later however the band proves me dead wrong because their new album “Firebirth” (their 13th by the way) is a work of art in the best Gotthard tradition and seamlessly fits in with the rest of the back catalogue of this great band. Newcomer Nic Maeder makes his debut here and the end result is possibly one of the most incredible comeback albums by any band that has suffered such tragic circumstances. Maeder’s vocals are strong and pack a bunch whether he’s delivering a hard rock anthem or singing a ballad. If there is one thing that Gotthard have done well throughout their career it's their consistency to keep making relevant records. They are not only able to hold on to the style that has made them a household name in the European rock scene, they are also able to move with the times and modernise their sound as to not sound stagnant and dated.
The CD opens with “Starlight” an uncompromising start with brilliant guitars and an extraordinary swing that creates a superb base to continue listening. The energetic “Give Me Real” is a delicious treat with infectious melodies and one of the finest pearls in the box. Gotthard’s specialty is bringing heartwrenching ballads and there’s a classic one in “Remember It’s Me”. Nic lays down a superb performance on this particular song.
Throughout the album axemen Leo Leoni and Freddy Scherer deliver a series of steamrolling mid-tempo riffs that are in the classic ’70-’80s mold and the solo work on “Fight” will make an air guitar hero out of those who desire to re-create their plank spanking in the privacy of their home. The catchy, feel-good song “Yippie Aye Yay” on the other hand is the perfect live song for the masses to sing along to.
This album is a true rebirth and in the shape of the beautiful “Tell Me” Gotthard present an emotional final tribute to Steve. The band go back to their roots on “The Story’s Over”, which is a mid-tempo song offering classic melodies, strong singing and cool guitar solos. The raw and dirty “Right On” is another preferred track of yours truly with guitars all over the place.
Gotthard have bounced back with an album so strong and impressive that a whole new era is born for the Swiss hard rockers. “Firebirth” is probably one of the toughest and most emotional discs ever released by the band. Nic Maeder sounds like he’s a natural for the mission even though he has a slighty more raspy voice than Steve Lee. The sound on this new album is little rougher and heavier than before while production is good and earthy. Furthermore the song material is once again of such a high level that we absolutely don’t have anything to complain about. “Firebirth is 100% Gotthar"d and I couldn’t agree more with that. True Gotthard and melodic hard rock fans will not be disappointed with this piece of work!
Nic Maeder : Vocals
Leo Leoni : Guitar, Backing Vocals
Marc Lynn : Bass, Backing Vocals
Freddy Scherer : Guitar, Backing Vocals
Hena Habegger : Drums
Last Updated (Thursday, 28 June 2012 18:10)