Krossfire – Learning To Fly
Joining a list of illustrious bands like Kamelot, Katanonia and Kataklysm who never learned how to spell properly is Eastern Europe’s newest son Krossfire. I say “newest” even though this Bulgarian outfit has been around since 2001, a year most of us still think happened yesterday, but was in fact eleven years ago. These defilers of the letter “c” play a progressively tinged form of power metal emanating a certain arctic glow like your general Reinxeed. I assume because Bulgaria is full of snow and polar bears (I have never been there). Their debut album Learning To Fly was originally released last year on something called Double D Music (bitching label name) and has now been picked up by Pure Steel Records for hopefully widespread distribution.
We open with what is by now article seven of the “Standard Rulebook of Power Metal Tropes” (most of the others are about dragons): the orchestral intro. In this case it is quite impressive and launches into the energetic “War Machine”, also the name of a kick-ass superhero affiliated with Iron Man. Through steadily built riffs and pre-choruses the song reaches a climax with a worthy chorus. Just the right amount of epic without getting cheesy. The line is nevertheless crossed with “How Can There Be…?” which is a little too preachy for its own good (think Gamma Ray’s “How Long” from Majestic), but we’ll let it slide for some well-placed orchestral beats that give the track an appropriate drive.
The instrumental interlude “Icaria” hints at an Icarus-inspired title track (article twenty-nine) and just like many of its predecessors, it does not disappoint. With great keyboard work and a soaring chorus, it is by far the highlight of this experience. Luckily, that does not mean it’s all downhill from here. Plenty of more fun is to be had with the quiet “Touch Of Destiny”, the more colorful “False Reality” and the catchy winter song “Cold Winds”. A female singer turns up for the closing ballad which is sweetly reminiscent of Serenity.
Vocalist Dimo Petkov’s voice is vaguely similar to Morifade’s Kristian Wallin and I find Krossfire on the whole to sound like a slower, softer version of the once great Swedes. While the songwriting may sound basic, there are plenty of avenues yet undiscovered, Krossfire shows promise and potential to one day come up with something far more impressive. In that regard Learning To Fly earns its title and I feel like this band is just spreading its wings and taking off.
Arno Callens’ Rating: 3.5 out of 5