Bonfire - Fuel to the Flames
Melodic Hard Rock
14 songs (60'08)
Release year: 1999
Bonfire, BMG
Reviewed by Ben
Archive review

Bonfire. A tremendous band that has released over ten albums that for some unknown reason has never caught on they way they should have. I honestly have no idea why Bonfire aren’t more well known, they are one of the best and most underrated bands in existence. Them and Pretty Maids are two of this reviewers favorite bands and I think that it is a damn shame that neither band has the recognition they so rightly deserve. Anyways, Fuel to the Flames is Bonfire’s comeback album to their roots. After the short break up that came about in the mid nineties, mainmen Hans Ziller and Claus Lessman, (guitars and vocals respectively) came together and reformed Bonfire and released Feels Like Coming Home and Rebel Soul. These two albums were more on the softer side of things, they didn’t have the huge fist pumping loud arena rock sound of Fireworks and Point Blank rather, they were like two best friends that decided to write songs about life, not how much “action” they got and how loud they liked their music. While very admirable efforts with some classic songs on each of them, the fans longed for the day when Hans and Claus would just flat out rock again. They must have heard the fans cries because they recruited Jurgen Wiehler and Uwe Kohler to be in the band (who are now full time permanent Bonfire members) and in 1999 the fans got their wishes granted with Fuel to the Flames.

From the opener of Daytona Nights you know that this band is back and they are ready to kick some ass and not bother to take names. The roar of a motorcycle is coupled with a crunchy riff that drives the song and Claus’ voice just takes this straight up there with all the other classics. An entirely and unabashedly crafted chorus made to sing along to at the top of your lungs, Daytona Nights simply owns, period. Killer number two is the return to the anthemic days of the band, Don’t Go Changin’ Me, a song about being human that is the perfect track to play if you’ve got a chick naggin you about your rock n roll lifestyle. The pace drops for just a bit and you get a glimpse into the bands thoughts with Proud of My Country. While Bonfire definitely loves the USA they felt that the time was right to show the world, “Hey this is who we are and this is where we’re from,” and proceed to tell us about mother Germany. Proud of My Country also has some of the best lyrics the band has written too in my opinion dealing with prejudice and stereotypes. A cover is next and not surprisingly it is by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sweet Home Alabama. A rockin’ version, I don’t bother skipping this even though the original doesn’t really quite thrill me. Later on, the ballad quota is first noted with the lead single, Goodnight Amanda. As a whole Bonfire’s ballads were never their strong point and could generally be skipped without too much of a loss but from here on out they are as strong as some of Pretty Maids’ finest. Goodnight Amanda is a moving, tearjerker of a song with some outstanding performances, especially from Claus who sings his heart out. I don’t recommend you sit and think about a chick while listening to this as you might get depressed over her all over again. There’s two more out and out rockin’ songs left to go, another pro-Germany anthem with Thumbs Up for Europe and the monster Heat in the Glow. The latter is one of those songs that when I first heard it I knew right then and there that I was going to love this song for pretty much all time. I was ecstatic when I saw it included on the setlist for their Live Over Europe release. Really, this song has all the best elements of the band. Layered vocals, a “look at me” delivery of the verses and a chorus to die for. Definitely one of the bands best songs EVER. The rest of Fuel to the Flames has a smattering of more midtempo drivers and another ballad and while they are still quite good, especially Life After Love, next to songs such as Don’t Go Changin’ Me and Heat in the Glow they don’t leave the same awesome feeling in your ears as the others did. This doesn’t mean they suck however, a “bad” Bonfire song is still better than a lot of bands best songs.

For Bonfire newbies, Fuel to the Flames is an excellent way to begin your journey into one of rocks most overlooked bands. This is a good representation of the band the way they are today while still containing elements of their glorious past. With albums like Fuel to the Flames and Strike X Bonfire is showing the world that good ol ass kicking melodic hard rock is here to stay and that they are prepared to lead the way. I urge fans of good melodic metal to check these guys out. It will be worth the venture.

Killing Songs :
Daytona Nights, Don't Go Changin' Me, Goodnight Amanda, and Heat in the Glow
Ben quoted 88 / 100
Mike quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Bonfire that we have reviewed:
Bonfire - Fireworks reviewed by Erik and quoted 91 / 100
Bonfire - Don't Touch The Light reviewed by Erik and quoted 87 / 100
Bonfire - Double X reviewed by Mike and quoted 79 / 100
Bonfire - Free reviewed by Mike and quoted 28 / 100
Bonfire - Live Over Europe reviewed by Ben and quoted no quote
To see all 9 reviews click here
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