Firewind is a Greek power metal band that was originally created as a way for guitarist Gus G. to market his demo album Nocturnal Symphony in 1998. They became a full band over three years later when they recorded Between Heaven and Hell. The band line-up changed between each album until the final change after their fifth, Allegiance They have recorded two albums with this current line-up, with new singer Apollo Papathanasio.
The band began in 1998 when the young Greek Gus G. decided to record a demo with some close musician friends in the United States. The project was entitled Firewind, and was used as a showcase for Gus' guitar skills in an attempt to earn a professional recording deal. The demo attracted the attention of Leviathan Records, but activity was put on hold when Gus was hired by Dream Evil and Mystic Prophecy.
After the release of his other bands' debut albums, Gus' attention returned to the Firewind project. Only he remained from the original formation - Leviathan owner David T. Chastain brought in vocalist Stephen Fredrick and drummer Brian Harris (both ex-Kenziner), while Gus enlisted the help of bassist Konstantine, a fellow Greek. this line-up recorded the debut album Between Heaven and Hell.
In 2003, new changes were instituted as Norwegian drummer Stian Kristoffersen and Greek bassist Petros Christo joined the band. Harris and Konstantine had been replaced as Gus was looking for a more permanent rhythm section that was prepared to tour. This line-up recorded Burning Earth and went on a tour of Japan with Rob Rock, but without vocalist Stephen Fredrick, who was not prepared to go on the road (despite prior guarantees to the contrary). His replacement on the Burning the Earth Tour, the Sri Lankan singer Chitral "Chity" Somapala, was given the job full-time. Fellow touring member Bob Katsionis was also hired permanently to play keyboards. Firewind got a worldwide deal with Century Media by the end of that year.
This line-up recorded the album Forged By Fire, but a few months after the release, Chitral left due to personal and musical differences with the rest of the band. When his replacement, Apollo Papathanasio of Time Requiem, was found, it was also announced that Stian Kristoffersen would be leaving, to be replaced with veteran drummer Mark Cross. The reason for the split was that Gus wanted to have a set of Greek-based musicians willing to make Firewind their number one priority (probably to end the virtual revolving door of members) and Stian's main band was the Norwegian outfit Pagan's Mind. Gus also left his roles in Dream Evil, Mystic Prophecy and Nightrage between 2004 and 2006. This new line-up recorded the album Allegiance, which was released in July 2006. During November - December 2006, they toured the UK supporting DragonForce with All That Remains.
At their October 2007 show at ProgPower USA, Firewind briefly united with former vocalist Stephen Fredrick for a few songs off the first two albums.
Firewind accomplished their 2006/2007 world tour in Copenhagen at the Scandinavian Prog Power festival on November 10. The band went around the globe almost twice being on three continents including Asia, Africa, the US, Canada and Europe and played nearly 100 shows. Firewind recently recorded a new album in Sweden which was released in spring 2008. The album is titled "The Premonition".
Also the band recently announced their first European Tour dates with Kamelot and Visions of Atlantis to start in London, England on April 4. However Visions of Atlantis have recently pulled out of the tour due to changes in their lineup. They were replaced by Forever Slave. They also announced that, in May, they will be touring with Arch Enemy. Gus G. has said they are planning for a headline tour of Europe in September 2008.
In November 2008 the band released their first DVD, 'Live Premonition', containing footage of their entire concert at their home town in Greece on January 12 2008.
The band will be touring with Stratovarius in the UK from May 15, 2009 to May 20, 2009.
Also in July 19 2009, they were the co-headliner of Amon Amarth at Uni-Rock Festival in Istanbul, Turkey. This was their first performance in Turkey.
Recently, the band began writing new material, and plan to debut a new song in their live setlist this year.
Between Heaven and Hell
Stian Lindas Kristoffersen
Forged by Fire
All Firewind lyrics
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