Bonfire – Fistful Of Fire

Album Review By Rainer Kerber

They have been active since 1986, Bonfire from Ingolstadt in Bavaria. Stop, that’s not entirely true. Band boss Hans Ziller had been with Cacumen several years earlier. Together with Claus Lessmann. With the first two albums they attracted attention in Germany. But the two wanted more. So it was renamed Bonfire in 1986. With this name they also wanted to inspire internationally. Countless albums have been released since then. But you can hardly count the lineup changes as well. The only constant is the guitarist Hans Ziller. And now the next album is ready to go, “Fistful Of Fire”. The album was produced again in the Ingolstadt “Flatline Recording Studios” in collaboration with sound engineer Tom Müller. Almost 35 years of Bonfire and not a bit quieter, one would think. So let’s have a look.

Is “The Joker” an intro or a short instrumental? The truth lies somewhere in between. There is sufficient melody for an independent song here. First you hear acoustic guitars and panpipes, then it gets rockier. “Gotta Get Away” follows seamlessly, with powerful drums and hard guitar riffs. The vocals of Alexx Stahl rise above. The catchy chorus invites you to sing along. The twin guitars are also great. Here are two real experts at work who throw the balls at each other. If I remember correctly, “The Devil Made Me Do It” was the second single release. After a short keyboard introduction, the guitars roar here too. An up-tempo song with a lot of feeling for beautiful melodies. Despite its catchiness, “Ride The Blade” is a real metal song. The ballad “When An Old Man Cries” brings back memories of “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica. However, in my opinion Bonfire have the better singer in their ranks. Pure goose bumps. “Rock’n’Roll Survivors” really rocks again. Again, the chorus invites you to sing along. So “Fight For Rock” (quote from the song). “Warrior” is a bow to the 80s AOR stadium rock. Sounds like the hard version of the early Bon Jovi. However, what is then supposed to be “Fire Etude” is not really clear to me. This short instrumental guitar interlude is really dispensable. The hangover is then more than made up by the speedy “Breaking Out” and especially by the anthemic title song “Fistful Of Fire”. The latter then gives the listener the haunting warning that ruthless use of resources can cause our world to get out of joint. Right now you can see how red hot this song is. That was probably the regular part of the album. Three bonus songs follow. So “The Surge” is more intended as an additional intro. I don’t know why “Gloryland2 is just a bonus. Because that’s actually a very good rock song. At the very end comes the acoustic version of “When An Old Man Cries”. And this is at least as beautiful as the original version.

With “Fistful Of Fire” Bonfire has created an outstanding album with a high hit density. This should enable them to secure a top position in the German and international rock and metal scene. After a few difficult years there is only one direction left for the band around mastermind Hans Ziller – upwards, towards Metal Olympus. It is regrettable that they are initially unable to present their latest work live. Maybe there will be an opportunity to catch up on the tour in late summer or autumn.

Bonfire – Rock’n’Roll Survivors:


Alexx Stahl – Vocals
Hans Ziller – Guitar
Frank Pané – Guitar
Ronnie Parkes – Bass
André Hilgers – Drums

Label: AFM Records

Out: April 03rd, 2020

Playing time: 53:10

Track list:

  • The Joker
  • Gotta Get Away
  • The Devil Made Me Do It
  • Ride The Blade
  • When An Old Man Cries
  • Rock’n’Roll Survivors
  • Fire And Ice
  • Warrior
  • Fire Etude
  • Breaking Out
  • Fistful Of Fire
  • The Surge
  • Gloryland
  • When An Old Man Cries (Acoustic Version)

Rating : 9.5/10

MHF Magazine/Rainer Kerber


Disturbingly Good


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