Bonfire - Byte the Bullet

Bonfire Byte the Bullet cover
Bonfire
Byte the Bullet
UDR Music
2017
6.5
Average: 5.9 (86 votes)
Well, it’s rather weird to call this “thing” Bonfire. While this has always been Ziller’s band, depending on who was singing there’s been Cacumen, Lessmann/Ziller, EZ Living… and there was even Charade with Bormann… well, until now.
 
After deliberating a bit on whether to get Bormann to sing for the band’s new album, which otherwise features the “Pearls” lineup and following his exit a couple of months after joining the band again, Ziller settled on Alexx Stahl (Viron, M.O.D and Roxxcalibur most of which were cover bands). While he’s a fair singer, I suppose he’s pushing Bonfire to sound the most “metal” they ever have and I’m not 100% percent if that’s what I’ve been looking for from “that” band, but I was willing to give the album a spin…
 
“Powertrain” has an intro not to dissimilar to Priest’s “Hellion”, and a nice little riff that at one point almost goes into electric eye territory. Stahl sounds a little too Craut-y, while he’s in mid-territory but much improved on harmonies and higher territory. If it wasn’t for those “Electric Eye” mannerisms though… I dunno…
 
“Stand Up 4 Rock” is one of those “pride” songs that tend to be rather laborious, but it’s chorus ain’t all that bad, surprisingly enough. The riff has something that’s too reminiscent of Helloween, but OK…
 
“Praying 4 a Miracle” begins with a high note and it’s the first number that begins to feel more like “familiar territory”… nice harmonies...
 
“Some Kinda Evil” ain’t so bad, but here Stahl sounds too much like Hansi Kursh on ocassion that it’s sort of both uncanny and not really fitting. I mean it fits the song, but I feel not the sound of the band overall.
 
“Lonely Nights”... initially I thought it was “Who’s Fooling Who” due to the similar intro, and while the song is probably better, now Stahl is not Lessman, despite managing to shoe in a passionate enough performance to avoid embarrassment… but let’s say balladry is not exactly his forte.
 
The title track is a rocker with a neat beat, but it’s rather predictable and beside a nice riff; it’s chorus feels a bit too disappointing and Stahl’s shouty style, I not exactly the equivalent of streetwise…
 
“Locomotive Breath” is a cover of the Jethro Tull’s classic, done fairly faithfully, but y’know it’s a cover.
 
“Reach for the Sky” (what a cliché title) suffers from the same – I want to sing hard rock – but I sound too much like Hansi-syndrome… it builds up to a bridge, nicely, but alas, it has a rather poor chorus, but at least a nice solo.
 
“Sweet Surrender” rips off a bit of “Make It Real” and despite following up the “loan” nicely, it’s quite blatant in the way that it does that… a rather “lazy” copy-paste.
 
“Friedensreich” is just inane BS in German, the band taking the piss in the studio asking their English bassist to repeat some complex German words?!? (WTF?)
 
“InstruMetal” begins with B’s 5th and continues by seguing in a shitload of well know classic music themes including a couple of deeper “choice cuts”… another lazy composition, that’s nicely executed though.
 
“Too Far From Heaven” has a couple of nice moments but the double bass and all makes it again too metal, for my liking…
 
While I was expecting Stahl to completely fuck up on the ballad “Without You”, he opts for a lower and gruffer vocal that fits the song perfectly and this is another good moment and more of how he should try to sing, if he’s to stick around.
 
And he does his best to mimic “Lessman” as much as possible, on another rendition of “Sweet Obsession”; let’s say that while I don’t think that his is they worse, let’s say it ain’t the best either… as that “HK” quality and German accent, can’t stay under wraps at all times…
 
Overall, a very divisive album and not so fresh, with multiple songs either being “covers” or seriously “borrowing” from others and Stahl not managing to completely convince, as he tries to ease himself in. I’m sorry to say that I feel that this might just not work. Doing a reunion and calling it a day might be more graceful, I guess…

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