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Firewind’s Third Live Recording, ‘Still Raging’ Proves It Was Mostly Worth The Decade-Long Wait

Veteran hard rock/metal act Firewind has been making music together for just over two decades.  In that time, the band has released nine albums, a number of which produced hit singles, but only two live recordings.  This past Friday, the band finally released its third live recording when it dropped Still Raging through AFM records.  Having come a decade after the release of it’s second live recording, Apotheosis – Live 2012, the band’s new 20-song recording is a mostly successful presentation.  Its success comes in part through its featured set list and the band’s performance thereof.  This will be examined shortly.  The recording’s production adds its own touch to the presentation and will be addressed a little later.  The recording’s platform availability rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of Firewind’s new live recording.  All things considered they make Still Raging a presentation that is sure to have most audiences raging.

Still Raging, the brand-new live recording from Firewind is a largely successful presentation from the veteran metal outfit.  Only the band’s third-ever live recording, the presentation succeeds in part through its featured set list.  Spanning 20 songs, the set list pulls from eight of its nine total albums, with its 2005 album Forged By Fire being the only one of the albums not represented herein.  Interestingly enough, the band’s latest album, its self-titled 2020 album, gets the most nods at six songs.  That is interesting because the tour from which the concert was pulled was in celebration of its 20th anniversary as a band.  One would have thought the set list would have been more balanced, considering this note.  So basically, while the set list does give audiences a taste of the band’s catalog for the most part, it is also slightly unbalanced in its overall presentation.  In other words, it is positive but not a complete win, sadly.  At least it does give audiences a hint of the albums the band has released over the past 20 years.

The band’s performance of its set list makes up for the slight shortcoming of the list’s unbalanced nature.  Founder and guitarist Gus G. (who has also worked with the likes of Ozzy Osbourne and Arch Enemy) puts his talents on full display throughout the concert, absolutely shredding his way through each song.  The few times during which he interacts with the band’s hometown audience, he shows the utmost respect for the audience, speaking in his (and their) native Greek tongue, making for all the more connection with the audience.  Front man Herbie Langhans meanwhile puts his vocal talents just as much on display, soaring when he hits the high notes and giving every other note just the right amount of fire and punch.  The rhythm section of drummer Johan Nunez and bassist Petros Christodoulidis adds its own impact to the concert, complimenting the work of their fellow musicians in their own way.  The energy that each musician brings to each song’s performance shows the band is giving its all to the audience, leaving nothing on the stage by the end of the nearly two-hour concert.  The constant chants of the band’s name from the audience shows the appreciation that the audience has for the band’s dedication to entertaining attendees, too.  The give and take from the band and audience in what looks like something of an intimate setting serves to immerse audiences in the concert all the more, adding even more to the concert’s enjoyment.

Another notable aspect of the concert to note is its production.  Considering the seemingly small size of the venue, it would have been easy for the production to become problematic.  The sound could easily have bounced all over the place while the cameras could easily have had a hard time fitting cameras into certain places.  Luckily, the director(s) managed to get so many great shots, whether from crane cameras or from those on the ground level.  The shots and edits (done in post-production) give home viewers the best seat in the house.  Meanwhile, the sound mix proves just as impressive, fully capturing the sound of being right there while note letting even the occasional echoes and airy-ness become too overpowering.  Rather those behind the lenses and boards ensured those elements were in fact used to enhance the concert experience.  Those efforts proved just as successful as the work that went into bringing the concert’s visuals to audiences.  All things considered here, the production that went into the featured concert makes for its own share of engagement and entertainment that when combined with the band’s performance and the featured set list, enhances the experience all the more for audiences.

As noted, there is much for audiences to appreciate in Firewind’s brand-new live recording, Still Raging.  Even as much as there is to appreciate, there is still one more item to like.  The item in question is the platforms on which Still Raging has been made available.  AFM Records has made the recording available as a complete Blu-ray/2CD combo pack.  Having the concert available both in a full audiovisual presentation and as an audio-only presentation means that audiences are getting the best of both worlds in one setting.  This way, audiences can enjoy the audio-only portion in their cars and the full concert presentation at home.  This is AFM ensuring audiences get the most for their money at least in this aspect and succeeding in the process.  When this positive is noted alongside the positive of the concert’s set list, the band’s performance thereof, and of course the concert’s production, the whole makes Still Raging an overall success even with the one minor shortcoming of the set list.  To that end, the noted elements collectively make Still Raging one more of this year’s top new live recordings.

Still Raging, the latest live recording from Firewind, is a mostly positive offering from the veteran hard rock/metal outfit.  Its success comes in part through its set list.  The set list is imperfect considering how heavily it leans on just one of the band’s nine total albums.  At the same time though, that the set list does at least attempt to represent almost all of Firewind’s albums is worthy of applause.  The band’s performance of the set list makes for its own appeal because it shows the band really is giving its all to each performance.  The concert’s production gives audiences a wonderfully immersive experience what with its camera angles and dissolves.  The sound is just as rich.  The two elements collectively make the production a fully immersive experience for audiences.  The presentation of the concert on a full Blu-ray/2CD set gives audiences the concert in both audiovisual and audio-only.  In other words, audiences get the best of both worlds, allowing them to take in the concert whether at home or on the road.  Keeping that in mind, it is its own positive that audiences are certain to appreciate.  Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of Still Raging.  All things considered they make Still Raging a welcome new, rare live offering from Firewind.

Firewind is scheduled to perform at a trio of European festivals this month in support of its new live recording. The schedule for those festivals is noted below:

02.09.23 GR – Metal Union Agrinio festival
03.09.23 GR – Gimme Shelter Open Air @ Athens Technopolis
22.09.23 CH – Rocknacht Tenwill

Still Raging is available now through AFM Records.  More information on the recording is available along with all of Firewind’s latest news at: