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On disc: FireLake

- S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars


(self-released - 2007)

The Ukrainian band FireLake was founded in 1997 and were quite successful in Kiev and their home country. Through the years they had to undergo some line-up changes. Since early 2006 this line-up is together. When the band started they wanted to combine Scandinavian melodic death metal with elements of Slavic folk music. But the EP S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is special, coz the songs were part of the soundtrack of the computer game S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow Of Chernobyl. And so the tracks aren't presenting the band fully, but the soundtrack was quite successful and so they decided to release their songs of the OST themselves.
Slowly with some guitar kicks off Dirge For The Planet and next singer Olga Lyapina joins in. The song carries a sad note which Olga's vocals express well. It seems she had some vocal training... But she isn't going to present some operatic styled vocals. With Fighting Unknown they speed up. A riff-based up-tempo tune which becomes special due to the flute of Yulia who carries the melody line with her flute. The song is influenced by neo-classical metal, but surprises with a slow, melodic parts. Due to the flute you won't miss vocals, even if Olga has a pleasant voice. The guitar riffing is quite heavy and somehow it reminds me of Iced Earth, but the flute adds a dash of Jethro Tull.. In that way it's a progressive metal song. With Against The Ionized Odds they offer their last track of the soundtrack - another heavy riff-based tune and another instrumental. This time tending a bit more to symphonic then to folk... Somehow the songs are catchy and I think a good background for the game.
I have no idea, if the music here really reflects the band, coz a soundtrack limits you. Anyway, FireLake is an interesting band!

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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