REVIEW: Bonfire – Fistful of Fire

Bonfire and I go way back. Late 80s back. Loved ’em then and from time to time I still play their music in the rotation and on the icehouse. But everything I know about them is still around the late 80s, early 90s.  In fact, it was 1986 the band went from Cacumen to Bonfire. Going before that the roots dig all the way back to 1972.

The late 80s had their own hair metal sound. Didn’t matter if you were from Ohio, LA or Germany. The sound sold and it was everywhere. Everyone had to look the same, sound the same and in the end you damn well better sell the same. In that time hey, I was most certainly a buyer.

Pretty much everyone was. That was simply how life was in that time period.

But something about Bonfire always set themselves apart from the rest. The creation of Hans Ziller, who does the backing vocals and about every guitar imaginable, has lived on through times most faded.

For Fistful of Fire, we’ve got Alexx Stahl on vocals, previously mentioned founder, Hans, Frank Pane on guitars and backing vocals, Ronnie Parkes, bass and backing vocals and Tim Briedeband on drums. After 28 albums (not including live and compilations) how does todays release compare to my memories of this long running metal band?

Well certainly not what I expected to start, no. Nice one with “The Joker” guys. Hoping this carries on through the other 5 songs. Love to be surprised and hear what I remember, but doing something new.

Pay attention or you’ll miss the song change. Dig the blended transition.

There’s the vocals. New singer Stahl carries the same feeling and intensity. And those guitars. Ah those guitars. Gotta Get Away is a hell of a 2nd opener. When you get to this point you’ll understand what I mean. This one will be slid into the rotation.

The Devil Made Me Do It is certainly more of what I recall from Bonfire. Solid to be sure. But for some reason it’s just not hitting me as hard as the last 2 did. I like it, but that’s about it.

Ok, there are 3 more left on this release as per my usual self, I don’t like to talk about more than 1/2 the songs on a release. I’m out to give you an opinion so to speak and let you know my thoughts on some of what I did like. From there you need to listen with an open mind and let yourself decide what you think.

Ya know, that’s what’s important.

I will say I didn’t find anything “weak” on this release. Got some surprises, found some growth and in the end the music did it’s job. Gave me what I remember and loved; and gave me something new to think about and appreciate as well.  Easy to see why Hans has been so successful for going on now his 6th decade. I had to count that several times but wow. Starting in 1979 and still putting out quality music. Get it Fistful of Fire here.

Put another notch on your guitar, Hans. Job well done.

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