‘Temple Of Lies’
2018 release from AFM Records GmbH.
Alexx Stahl – Vocals. Hans Ziller – Guitar, backing vocals. Frank Pane – Guitar, backing vocals. Ronnie Parkes – Bass, backing vocals. Tim Breideband – Drums.
Artist location: Germany.
4.5 out of 5 stars rating.
Reviewed by David.
- In The Beginning.
- Temple Of Lies.
- On The Wings Of An Angel.
- Feed The Fire (Like The Bonfire).
- Stand Or Fall.
- Comin’ Home.
- I’ll Never Be Loved By You.
- Fly Away.
- Love The Way You Hate Me.
- Crazy Over You.
- Comin’ Home (acoustic version).
- Friedensreich II – The Return Of The Zunsler Into The T.O.L.
Most folks probably do not realize it but Bonfire have been around since 1972 (though at the time they were going by the name Cacumen), talk about some staying power! And they are busier than ever (this marks the fourth album in as many years) here they are in 2018 delivering what is likely the best Bonfire album to come along in years.
Though there have been many line-up changes over the years, the one constant, aside from a few short years back around the early 1990’s, has been founder, guitarist and writer Hans Ziller.
‘Temple Of Lies’ marks the second album with vocalist Alexx Stahl behind the mic and, just as Jaded Heart did when Johan Fahlberg joined the band, Bonfire opted for a bit of a directional change in their style of music when Stahl came in, going from straight up melodic rock to a heavier, almost power metal sound on 2017’s ‘Byte The Bullet’.
I liked ‘Byte The Bullet’ quite a lot, but these guys have really found their sound with ‘Temple Of Lies’. With the exception of the final track (which I could definitely have done without), there is not a single bad song present, in fact there is not a single song that I do not absolutely love, and the band has most certainly upped the ante by delivering one Hell of a great metal record that needs to be heard!
With a band consisting of Stahl, Ziller and the amazing talents of heavy hitters Frank Pane, Ronnie Parkes and Tim Breideband, how could you possibly go wrong! These men can play and write and they delivered in Spades this time around.
The songs are utterly fantastic and very very catchy! The record starts with an instrumental and voice over telling us about the Temple Of Lies and backed by some terrific guitar work and then brings us straight into the very heavy, ass kicking title track followed by the excellent ‘On The Wings Of An Angel’.
‘Feed The Fire (Like A Bonfire)’ and ‘Stand Or Fall’ continue on with the hard and heavy pacing of those first two songs and both are just wonderful rockers but it is track number six that clenched this one for me. ‘Comin’ Home’ is the first and only ballad of the record and it is almost worth getting the album for alone for me. A beautiful power ballad with a tremendous vocal performance by Stahl.
The ballad segues right into ‘I’ll Never Be Loved By You’, a cool, upbeat number and it leads to one of my favorites in ‘Fly Away’, a fantastic melodic rocker with a great melody.
‘Love The Way You Hate Me’ is another cool rocker and it takes us to another of my favorites, the very catchy ‘Crazy Over You’, I love this one! Check out the lyric video using the link near the top of the page.
Finishing the album out is an acoustic version of ‘Comin’ Home’ and then the final track, ‘Friedensreich II – The Return Of The Zunsler Into The T.O.L.’. I am really not sure what this track is supposed to be, just the band cutting loose and having fun it seems, but I could have done without it as it does nothing for me and only brings down what is a damn near perfect record.
Final track aside though, this is without a doubt the best Bonfire record in years and is one of the best melodic metal albums I have heard in recent years.
I have heard a lot of grumblings from fans over the change in style, which I can understand, but do yourself a huge favor and don’t dismiss the band now simply because they changed their style a bit. No, it does not sound like the Bonfire of old with Lessman, or even the Bonfire with David Reece, and that is fine! Those guys are gone, those times are gone and this new sound fits the band now perfectly and Alexx sounds fantastic, hitting some crazy notes throughout the album, what a range!
Speaking of the frontman, he has never sounded better than he does on this record. He sings his ass off on every single track and sounds just amazing! The man can flat out sing.
Incredible guitar work, excellent playing from the rhythm section, great vocals and some of the best songs the band has produced in years make this a not to be missed album in my book!
Do yourself a favor and get it. The band has outdone themselves with ‘Temple Of Lies’ and it has instantly joined the ranks alongside my favorite Bonfire records.
Very highly recommended!
‘Temple Of Lies’.
‘On The Wings Of An Angel’.
‘Stand Or Fall’.
‘Crazy Over You’.