Who is Bonfire?
This is the first time I’ve really ever heard this bands music. I knew little to nothing about them except the name. Every time I heard or seen the name I think of the AC/DC boxset entitled “Bonfire”. With that being said, they sound absolutely nothing like AC/DC. Doing some research on Bonfire I came to find out they’ve been around since the 70’s under a different name, but was advised by the record company to change their name and they came up with Bonfire.
The band hails from Ingolstadt Germany and has only 1 original member, guitarist Hans Ziller. In 2015 the band went through a huge change and all members except Hans were changed. The line up as of now is:
Alex Stahl - lead vocals
Hans Ziller - lead guitar, rhythm guitar, talkbox, acoustic guitar, backing vocals, sitar, slide guitar
Frank Pané - Guitars, backing vocals
Ronnie Parkes - bass, backing vocals
Tim Breideband - drums
Bonfire- Starin’ Eyes
The latest release is a covers album, which is to coincide with their Bonfire and Friends Tour in 2018. It includes 32 songs and is a little over 2 1/2 hours long.
There are some really great songs on here. I think it was a pretty good starting point for me with this band. If they could do these songs this good then their original material must be fairly similar. The vocalist is great, his accent comes out a bit at times but not in a bad way. The musicians did a great job as well.
A few songs I actually think they might be better than the original or at least gave the original a bit of an update. For instance, I’m not a Toto fan at all and I’ll even go as far to say “Africa” is one of my least favorite songs of all time. Bonfire might have changed that though. They made the song a little more upbeat but still held true to the original. Also Alex Stahl’s vocals are way better. Move over Weezer, your cover version has nothing on Bonfire.
The opening Rainbow track “I Surrender” is done very well. Like the whole album, they don’t really stray too far from the originals but they do add the bonfire sound and these songs sound a bit bigger and heavier.
Some other stand out tracks are Survivors “Caught in the Game. I’ve never actually heard the original of that one and I liked the song, so I’ll have to seek out the original but something tells me this version might be better.
There are a few tracks I was really surprised with like Queensrÿche’s “Eyes Of a Stranger”. I’m a big Queensrÿche fan, so if this was messed up in any way I would notice immediately. I notice the drums aren’t exact but that’s fine cause the way they paced the song it works. I really enjoyed this version and think they really did an excellent job. Same goes for “Jet City Woman”.
The big shockers to me are the two Grave Digger songs. They seemed to be out of place coming from this band and also compared to the other songs, but I was blown away by how good they pulled off “Rebellion” and “Heavy Metal Breakdown”. I’m a huge Grave Digger fan and Bonfire really added their style to both songs but again kept it along the same lines as the originals and I was very pleased. I like how they changed the chorus part up a bit.
UFO’s Doctor Doctor is another stand out track. It’s done really well and is just a good song. I can never hear this song and not think of Iron Maiden.
The rest of the album features songs by Deep Purple, Cher, Hardline, House If Lords, and a few songs I just couldn’t figure out who they were.
If I could gripe about anything, it would be the length of the album and it being too long, but I like just about every song even some I’ve never heard of or couldn’t figure out who did the originals. Everything was played and sung excellent.
Grave Digger- “Heavy Metal Breakdown” Cover
This album is very fun. Most people into Roxk and even Metal should know most of the songs on this albums so it’s fairly easy to get Into right away. Do yourself a favor and pick it up, you’ll enjoy it. I know from listening to this I’m going to check on their earlier releases.