Artist: Saffire 
   Title:  From Ashes To Fire
   Label: Inner Wound Recordings  

'From Ashes To Fire' is the debut album from Saffire and the follow up to the 2011 EP 'Kingdom Of The Blind'.

Hailing from the hot bed of Rock and Metal Gothenburg, Sweden, this quintet of Victor, Tobbe, Dino, Anton and Magnus mix that 70’s traditional Hard Rock sound with a modern Progressive edge, aided by the powerhouse musicianship and a top class vocalist.

The album is a multi-faceted magic carpet ride that gets underway with ‘Magnolia’, which is far from being a bland painting by numbers exercise, as they set out their stall from the off, with a heady bass line infused with a keyboard that paves the way for the thunderous drum beat and guitars, all of which is capped off with a towering vocal.  A real barnstormer of an opener.

From here on in, the multi-faceted carpet ride takes us to the next level, continuing with the heavy bass lines but this time a more keyboard infused slice of Hard Rock with ‘Kingdom Of The Blind’, before picking it up a gear with the storming almost Deep Purplesque ‘Freedom Call’.

Then it's back that modern edged vibe with ‘End Of The World’, again a driven bass line and keyboards drives this one, with the tuned down guitars given it that modern feel, then its another switch as the tempo is brought down with the soaring tones of ‘What If’, which brings in a Progressive side to things, courtesy of a wonderful orchestral stings backing.

It's back up to speed once more with the funk filled splendour of ‘A Symphony Unheard’, before the truly epic soundings of ‘Paralysed’, my pick of track off the album.  A definite winner for the Prog Metal fans this one.  That same Prog Metal vibe is continued with the excellent ‘Modus Vivendi’ and the thumping ‘The Betrayer’s Fate’.

After a torrent of heady bass it's time once again to bring the tempo down again, this time it's the vocals and keyboards that get the ballad ‘She Remains A Mystery’ underway.

That modern mix and traditional Hard Rock comes to a head with the magnificent ‘Say Goodbye’ and the bass laden ‘The Redemption’.  All journey’s must come to an end and this one ends with ‘Stormy Waters’, a song that has more layers than a lifetime of emotions, and wraps up a great album that showcases the diversity of the talent coming out of not just Gothenburg, but Sweden as a whole.

Review by: Barry McMinn


1.  Magnolia
2. Kingdom Of The Blind
3. Freedom Call
4. End Of The World
5. What If
6. A Symphony Unheard
7. Paralyzed
8. Modus Vivendi
9. The Betrayer's Fate
10. She Remains A Mystery
11. Say Goodbye
12. The Redemption
13. Stormy Waters  



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