It’s been exactly two years since Bonfire, following the outstanding debut of their current vocalist Alexx Stahl on Byte The Bullet (2017), were unanimously celebrated for their successor album Temple Of Lies (2018). Two years which saw the band rock countless stages at home and abroad before going on to set the bar even higher with their latest offering.
Fistful Of Fire is definitely one of the toughest Bonfire albums ever. “This development already became apparent the last time around,”explains guitarist and founder member Hans Ziller. “However, this time our approach was even more focused and consistent. I’ve always been the tough guy in Bonfire but haven’t always been able to implement my ideas the way I wanted. But since our tour with Judas Priest, we’ve known that toughness in combination with great melodies suits Bonfire perfectly.”
Fistful Of Fire features this very mix: throughout the eleven songs (plus three intros), the band from Ingolstadt, which has operated under its established logo for almost thirty five years, fire on all cylinders. “Unlike previous Bonfire vocalists, Alexx oozes so much energy that you may occasionally have to hold him back rather than motivate him. We’ve been a hard rock band from the very beginning, but that has never been more apparent than in 2020.”
Everything comes together perfectly on Fistful Of Fire, which was recorded in collaboration with sound engineer Tom Müller at Ingolstadt’s Flatliners Recording Studios again: the charismatic vocals, the catchy riffs and hooks courtesy of guitarists Ziller and Frank Pané, the rich bass sound provided by their American colleague Ronnie Parkes and the driving grooves
contributed by new addition André Hilgers (ex-Rage, Axxis), who has complemented the line-up for a number of months. “This team delivers without mercy and has turned into a really tight unit,” Ziller enthuses.
In view of the album’s outstanding quality throughout, it’s not easy to highlight individual songs, but alongside the only moderate mainstream number Warrior and the obligatory ballad When An Old Man Cries, we should perhaps take a closer look at two special tracks…
On the one hand there’s the lead single Rock´n`Roll Survivors, which was released on 28 February 2020, that summarises with its programmatic title the whole career of Bonfire mastermind Ziller in one succinct phrase. “I’ve been kicked in the teeth a thousand times during my career and I often went down,” he confesses, “but I’ve always picked myself up again.”
That fact makes for a great allegory which Bonfire have translated perfectly into a video clip featuring two female boxers: multiple world champion Tina Schüßler and her colleague Stephanie Posch were the focus of the shoot at a boxing club in Augsburg. Talking of which: Tina Schüßler is not only an exceptional athlete, but also an accomplished rock singer. Together with her band, she will support Bonfire during their tour in April. The end of March will see the release of the second single The Devil Made Me Do It, providing another perfect foretaste of the new album.
The lyrics of Rock n’Roll Survivors, in combination with its powerful rock sound, is a mix that also features on other songs on the new album. Bonfire prove that they have no problem thinking outside the box of pure musicians’ themes. The title track Fistful Of Fire, for example, warns of the reckless abuse of a world which seems to have been turned upside down in ecological terms.
Ziller demands: “We simply mustn’t leave a planet to our children that’s no longer worth living on.” In this respect, the group’s musical motto also applies: “Long-standing bands like Bonfire may be considered an endangered species, but we’ve still got a lot to say, musically as well as in terms of content.”
Which is precisely what every single note on Fistful Of Fire proves!
Alexx Stahl (Vocals), Hans Ziller (Guitar), Frank Pané (Guitar), Ronnie Parkes (Bass), André Hilgers (Drums)
Gotta Get Away
The Devil Made Me Do It
Ride The Blade
When An Old Man Cries
Rock n’Roll Survivors
Fire And Ice
Fistful Of Fire
When An Old Man Cries (Acoustic Version)