Bonfire – “Live On Holy Ground – Wacken 2018” CD / DVD / LP (Pride & Joy Music)
Formed in 1972 by then teenage guitarist Hans Ziller, Bonfire have come a long way over the years into becoming a well known name in Europe, as well as being recognised internationally. As such, headlining the prestigious Wacken Open Air festival last year could not define any higher the band’s status, and this 10 track live release captures the moment superbly – especially if you’re a fan of Bonfire’s first 2 albums, including the incredible “Fireworks”! Reflecting a ‘best of’ set list with 6 of the tracks coming from that 1987 gold release and a matching performance to boot, Hans Ziller has proved, once again, why his band and the superb hard rock they play is a winner every time. With Alexx Stahl leading the masses through his soul and Ziller’s guitar hitting home the rocking riffs and killer melodies, songs like ‘American Nights’ may have written in the late 80s, but their catchiness still appeals to this day, and indeed at a festival whose motto is ‘louder – faster – harder’!!! Not sparing the crowd, even power ballads like ‘Give It A Try’ with its brimming harmonies and passionate vocals, not forgetting Ziller’s superbly moving guitar, get a massive clap from the mecca metal crowd, while a cover of Kiss’s ‘Sword And Stone’ elicits nothing short of an en masse cheer. With Stahl hitting the highs on ‘Sweet Obsession’, delivering the knock out blow along with Ziller’s fretboard burning and a killer chorus that I would dare anyone to refuse, ‘Champion’ closes with its fast guitars and some pumping keyboards from Alessandro DelVecchio, again delivering that magic chorus that’s built for live singalongs and hammered home by André Hilgers’s double bass drums. With the bonus tracks (including video for the DVD) made up of ‘Praying 4 A Miracle’ from 2017’s “Byte The Bullet” (radio edit), a cover of Jethro Tull’s ‘Locomotive Breath’ (radio edit), and re-recorded versions of ‘Sweet Obsession’ and ‘American Nights’ with Stahl on vocals, “Live On Holy Ground – Wacken 2018” does everything it states – and a whole lot more.