Legends. In which German hard rockers Bonfire, who’ve penned the odd classic AOR anthem themselves down the years, render their versions of some of their fave songs from the rock vault…

It’s a self-indulgent, spurious operation, of course, but two minutes into the album’s opening track – a stonking, strutting, metallised take on Toto yacht rock epic Africa – all such carping will have let itself out of the back door of your brain, leaving you simply to enjoy what’s on offer – which is rather a lot.

Bonfire don’t just tackle one song from any given artist– they throw in multiple tracks if it suits them! So Africa is joined with similarly muscular runs through of Hold the Line and Rosanna, before the band throw in a whopping five Rainbow tracks, a trio from Survivor… the album sprawls out to a colossal thirty one tracks covering just about every aspect of rock and metal over the last forty years, from the cerebral proggisms of Queensrÿche to the out and out gumby metal fury of Grave Digger. Not to mention a Cher cover…

Obviously the star of all this is vocalist Alex Stahl, who sings the absolute bejeezus out of everything that’s thrown at him in a bewilderingly versatile display of throatsmithery.

Rainbow’s Death Alley Driver in particular is given an exhilarating makeover – it’s probably the closest thing here to an actual Bonfire song overall – and it’s nice to hear the band giving a run to Black Masquerade from that band’s oft-forgotten Stranger in Us All elpee.

Anyways, there’s no real point doing a forensic breakdown of all this – you’ll like what you like, you’ll discard the rest – but as an exercise you have to admire the breadth of Bonfire’s ambition. They’ve encapsulated the music we love so much in one not-so-easily-digestible tablet – and they’ve done it bloody well. Hats off!

Legends Track Listing:

Hold the Line

Man on the Silver Mountain
I Surrender
Stone Cold
Death Alley Driver
Black Masquerade

Burning Heart
Eye of the Tiger
Caught in the Game

Doctor Doctor
Lights Out
Rock Bottom

Deep Purple
Child in Time
King of Dreams

Jet City Woman
Silent Lucidity
Eyes of a Stranger

Robin Beck
Tears in the Rain
First Time

Save Up All Your Tears

Hot Cherie
Dr Love

Grave Digger
Heavy Metal Breakdown

House of Lords
Love Don’t Lie
I Wanna Be Loved

Frei Wie Die Geier
Alt Wie Ein Baum

Legends will be released by AFM Records on October 19th