Power of Metal.dk Review

Ring of Fire
The Battle of Leningrad
Style: Neo Classical Metal
Release date: 24 January, 2014
Playing time: 52:22

Yngwie Malmsteen, Symphony X, Artension, TSO and Royal Hunt are just a few bands in which the musicians on this album have earned their stripes. With such a line-up the expectations are very high, or should I say my expectations are very high. I saw mr. Kuprij just a few days ago with TSO at the Heineken Music Hall and he did a fabulous super high speed solo on his keyboard, I was flabbergasted. Besides that, together with  the singing of Mark and the guitars by Tony on this album things can't go wrong here.

9 years ago they released the predecessor to this album, but it was worth the wait. 10 tracks that are all well executed neo classical power metal tracks. "Mother Russia" starts with a piano intro, but then blossoms into a powerful guitarriff driven track with all elements included. The up tempo track has a certain drive and the excellent singing of Mark immediately shows. "They're Calling Your Name" turns up the tempo and the song reminds me of early Yngwie albums and a band like Majestic enters my mind as well. The keys are rather in front of the mix and similarities with Artension are close. In "Empire" there are nice piano parts and together with "Land of Frozen Tears" these are two slower songs on the album. Also "Firewind" is rather slow at the beginning, but has a few heavier parts near the end. "Where Angels Play" starts with a very known classical part and is again one of the faster tracks.  More groove can be found in "Battle of Leningrad". The tempo increases on "No Way Out" and the ballad "Our World" sounds a lot  like a TSO song with piano and singing. In the final song the band opens all registers for the last time and piano, emotional singing, strong riffing, excellent guitar and key soli carry this variable song. For me this is the strongest track on this album especially because of the variety.

Ring of Fire has made a good album with above average written tracks, but the real hammers, which really could have made this a top album is missing.

Line up:
Mark Boals – vocals
Tony MacAlpine – guitars
Vitalij Kuprij – keyboards
Timo Tolkki – bass
Jami Huovinen- drums

01. Mother Russia
02. They're Calling Your Name
03. Empire
04. Land Of Frozen Tears
05. Firewind
06. Where Angels Play
07. Battle of Leningrad
No Way Out
Our World
10. Rain
Label: Frontiers Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Artwork rating: 80/100
Reviewed by: Reinier de Vries
Date: 22 January, 2014
Website: Ring of Fire @ Facebook