Bonfire – “Temple Of Lies” (AFM Records)
Alongside the Scorpions and Accept, Bonfire must be considered one of Germany’s greatest hard rock metal bands. Starting as far back as 1972 (!) although only going by that name since 1986, Bonfire met with immediate success, having scored a gold release in their 1987 sophomore “Fireworks”. Unfortunately, personnel problems involving founder guitarist Hans Ziller soon began to take their toll, resulting in him being ousted from his band, inevitable legal battles over ownership of the name and a revolving door of personnel changes that have continued to this day – with Ziller back and still in the band he founded! “Temple Of Lies” is Bonfire’s 15th studio album and sticks to the definitive Ziller formula of hugely catchy and memorable songs with plenty of balls but equally, graced with tons of melody. With yet another talented line up backing Ziller, Alex Stahl’s killer vocals add both the power and soaring passion to the 10 excellent tracks here, resonating the massive talents of Ziller, not just as a guitarist but equally, an excellent composer to boot! Screaming in with blazing tremolos is ‘Stand Or Fall’ and immediately the epic passion of the riffs hits you as Stahl injects the emotion while the guitars continue their fiery breaks and the drums thunder in the background. Taking things closer to the heart is ‘I’ll Never Be Loved By You’ which actually opens pretty heavy with the drums and crunching guitars but as Stahl’s soul kicks in the build up to the heartbreaking chorus with twin guitars wailing and tender harmonies you just know your’re succumbing to burning of Bonfire once more! Ending in the very 80s ‘Crazy For You’ it’s pretty clear that Bonfire have lost none of their early magic and this number just has ‘hit’ written all over it, right down to Stahl’s amazing lead work and a chorus that would turn the head of Jon Bon Jovi. Bonfire are back with a killer line up and a release that simply burns with so much passion it literally is on fire!!!