Bonfire – “Live In Wacken”

Bonfire – “Live In Wacken” (LZ Records/ Sony)

This one goes all the way back – not just cos it captures a long lost performance from 1998 but also because Bonfire have been going since 1972 if you can believe that! Originally thought lost, this live Wacken set captures this German hard rock band on home ground and in full steam as they march through their 13 track set from singalongs like ‘Champion’ to their cover of Billy Squier’s ‘The Stroke’ to their classic hit ‘Sword And Stone’. Although now apparently remastered, the sound still remains pretty raw, which I guess is reflective of Wacken back in those days when it was up and coming rather than the monster festival that it is today. Still, Bonfire’s melodic rock holds its own and was probably a welcome contrast to the bands who played that year from Exciter to Cradle Of Filth to Gamma Ray! Although they continue to remain relatively obscure outside of their native Germany Bonfire’s brand of catchy hard rock remains timeless and generically appealing so you could do worse than to check out this bumper live opus both as an opportunity to hear Bonfire as well as an early Wacken show!

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