BONFIRE – Branded

Bonfire - BrandedWay back in the day when we wrote 1987, German melodic rockers Bonfire released the fabulous album Fireworks. Everybody and their mother then believed that the krauts we’re the next German band to make it into mega stardom. Now we write 2011 and we all know just what became of that. They released Point Blank two years after, an album that absolutely had its moments, but mostly were a poor attempt to make Fireworks all over again. After that, lead singer and band leader Claus Lessmann has had an open door for different members to walk in and out of the band and there has been many of those. Band members, that is. Bonfire has also been busy releasing records with a shifting quality. Most of them has been rather good and very few of them has been totally bad. In fact, I can’t think of one bad Bonfire album except for last pretentious attempt to write some kind of musical. That one was called The Räuber and needs to be avoided. The problem is that no album had been good enough. You listen to them a couple of times and then leave them standing in the shelf.

The same problem occurs with this, their 12th studio album. because this is a decent album and a complete shake-up after their last belly flop. You dig it when you listen to it, but doesn’t miss it or feel the urge to listen to it when you’re not. They are actually a pretty uninteresting band. Stuff like the heavy ”Deadly Condradiction” is great, their heaviest song since I don’t know when and ”Just Follow The Rainbow” and ”Save Me” are two catchy rockers with good hit potential. The whole album is a bit heavier than the usual Bonfire album, still it really sounds like Bonfire – and it is the best record they have made in a very long time. But that doesn’t really help when there are other much more interesting bands out there which plays this kind of music. On the other hand, for the die-hard Bonfire fans out there, this album is a must because if you’re into the band and like their previous stuff, you’ll probably love this one. At my place, though, it would end up on my shelf instead of in my CD player.

Jon Wilmenius (6/10)

Tracklist:

1. Deadly Contradiction
2. Just Follow The Rainbow
3. Save Me
4. Let It Grow
5. Better Days
6. Do Or Die
7. Close To The Edge
8. Crazy
9. Loser’s Lane
10. Hold Me Now
11. I Need You (bonus track)
12. Rivers Of Glory (bonus track)

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