Few German rock acts can look back at as long and successful a career as Bonfire. Counting their predecessor – a group called Cacumen, which was also founded by Hans Ziller and featured more or less the same line-up – the band has been around since 1972, has operated under its current moniker since 1986 and released more than two dozen albums.
During the most successful phase of their career, Bonfire counted – alongside the Scorpions and Accept – among Germany’s three internationally most acclaimed acts, celebrating major success all over Europe and worldwide. Bonfire‘s trademarks are and have always been deeply melodic hard rock songs, driven by captivating guitars, grooving rhythms and haunting vocal melodies. All the features that came together so perfectly on their most popular releases ‘Fireworks‘ (1987), ‘Point Blank‘ (1989) and ‘Branded‘ (2011) are present on their current release ‘Temple Of Lies‘. Thanks to their new vocalist Alexx Stahl, who joined the fold two years ago, and a first-rate line-up on all instruments, the band’s creativity explodes on Temple Of Lies and is bound to wow a younger generation of rock music fans, too.
We were extremely lucky to find Alexx,” offers guitarist Hans Ziller in explanation of the group’s current creative and musical high. “He’s a team player who looks after his voice in a totally professional way and treats it like the important tool that it is. He doesn’t smoke and prepares optimally for every show. In addition, Alexx is a really nice guy. Being at the helm of the band, I couldn’t be happier to have him in the band.” Ziller is just as enthusiastic about his rhythm section consisting of bassist Ronnie Parkes and drummer Tim Breideband (“they seem to have reinvented the groove”), and of course guitarist Frank Pané (“one of the most awesome musicians I’ve ever worked with”). Ziller: “With this line-up, we’ll be able to increase the hardness level of our material whenever we feel like it. Numbers such as ‘Temple Of Lies‘ and ‘Stand Or Fall‘ wouldn’t have been possible with previous line-ups.”
It’s not only the occasionally tougher pace that impresses on ‘Temple Of Lies‘ (produced by Hans Ziller at the Flatliners Recording Studios in Ingolstadt) from the first to the very last note, but also the album’s diverse high-quality songwriting in general. Driving midtempo tracks (‘Feed The Fire‘, ‘On The Wings Of An Angel‘, ‘Fly Away‘, ‘Crazy Over You‘) support the afore-mentioned uptempo rock numbers and are expertly broken up by the ballad ‘Comin` Home‘ and ‘Love The Way You Hate Me‘, which surprises with a reggae groove verse. ‘Temple Of Lies‘ kicks off with the intro ‘In The Beginning‘, featuring American voice actor David Michael Williamson.
Line up:
Alexx Stahl (Vocals)
Hans Ziller (Guitar)
Frank Pané (Guitar)
Ronnie Parkes (Bass)
Tim Breideband (Drums)

Bonfire release their new lyric video for ‘Crazy For You, the first track taken from new album ‘Temple Of Lies‘ due out on 13th April.

Few German rock acts can look back at as long and successful a career as Bonfire. Counting their predecessor – a group called Cacumen, which was also founded by Hans Ziller and featured more or less the same line-up – the band has been around since 1972, has operated under its current moniker since 1986 and released more than two dozen albums. During the most successful phase of their career, Bonfire counted – alongside the Scorpions and Accept – among Germany’s three internationally most acclaimed acts, celebrating major success all over Europe and worldwide. Bonfire’s trademarks are and have always been deeply melodic hard rock songs, driven by captivating guitars, grooving rhythms and haunting vocal melodies. All the features that came together so perfectly on their most popular releases ‘Fireworks‘ (1987), ‘Point Blank‘ (1989) and ‘Branded‘ (2011) are present on their current release ‘Temple Of Lies‘. Thanks to their new vocalist Alexx Stahl, who joined the fold two years ago, and a first-rate line-up on all instruments, the band’s creativity explodes on Temple Of Lies and is bound to wow a younger generation of rock music fans, too.

We were extremely lucky to find Alexx,” offers guitarist Hans Ziller in explanation of the group’s current creative and musical high. “He’s a team player who looks after his voice in a totally professional way and treats it like the important tool that it is. He doesn’t smoke and prepares optimally for every show. In addition, Alexx is a really nice guy. Being at the helm of the band, I couldn’t be happier to have him in the band.” Ziller is just as enthusiastic about his rhythm section consisting of bassist Ronnie Parkes and drummer Tim Breideband (“they seem to have reinvented the groove”), and of course guitarist Frank Pané (“one of the most awesome musicians I’ve ever worked with”). Ziller: “With this line-up, we’ll be able to increase the hardness level of our material whenever we feel like it. Numbers such as ‘Temple Of Lies’ and ‘Stand Or Fall’ wouldn’t have been possible with previous line-ups.”

It’s not only the occasionally tougher pace that impresses on ‘Temple Of Lies‘ (produced by Hans Ziller at the Flatliners Recording Studios in Ingolstadt) from the first to the very last note, but also the album’s diverse high-quality songwriting in general. Driving midtempo tracks (‘Feed The Fire’, ‘On The Wings Of An Angel’, ‘Fly Away’, ‘Crazy Over You’) support the afore-mentioned uptempo rock numbers and are expertly broken up by the ballad ‘Comin` Home’ and ‘Love The Way You Hate Me’, which surprises with a reggae groove verse. ‘Temple Of Lies‘ kicks off with the intro ‘In The Beginning’, featuring American voice actor David Michael Williamson.

So the fun factor is back in the Bonfire camp, manifesting itself also in the 20-minute bonus track ‘Friedensreich II. – The Return Of The Zünsler Into The T.O.L.’, a humorous sound collage which frequently brings to mind Frank Zappa. The programmatic album title and expressive cover artwork prove that Ziller & Co also live up to their responsibility as socially aware musicians, taking to task “the lies of our world and politicians”. No doubt about it: ‘Temple Of Lies‘ sees Bonfire live up not only to their own history.

Line up:

Alexx Stahl (Vocals)

Hans Ziller (Guitar)

Frank Pané (Guitar)

Ronnie Parkes (Bass)

Tim Breideband (Drums)

Official Website

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After Bonfire‘s latest studio records ‘Glörious‘ (2015) and ‘Byte The Bullet‘ (2017) both made it to the Top 50 of the German album chart and more than 160 live shows played in the last two years, AFM Records and Bonfire decided to strike a new path together!

During the more than 30 year-long history of the band, there were of course several different label partners releasing Bonfire‘s 16 studio records and some were not available at times. So in Autumn of 2017, big parts of Bonfire‘s back catalogue will be made available again before the new album will be released in Spring 2018.

Besides being in the studio to record their next record, Bonfire will be on tour for the rest of the year!

Find all tour dates below and on www.bonfire.de

Tour dates:

2017:

08.07. (GER) – Ingolstadt – Bürgerfest-Rathausplatz

15.07. (GER) – Jamboree-Open Air

23.07. (GER) – Regensburg – Piazza Open Air

03.08. (GER) – Günzburg Open Air

12.08. (CH) – Gossau Rock On Open Air

19.08. (GER) – Rhön Rock Open Air

02.09. (PL) – Zgierz – City of Power-Open Air

16.09. (PT) – Lissabon – RCA Club

23.09. (PT) – Coimbra – Festival

30.09. (GER) – Alzey – Oberhaus

02.10. (GER) – Teltow Open Air

07.10. (GER) – Braunschweig – Lokpark

19.10. (GER) – Hamburg – Logo

20.10. (GER) – Mannheim – MS Connexion

21.10. (GER) – Memmingen  Kaminwerk

11.11. (GER) – Renchen – COME INN -Charity

16.12. (GER) – Obermachtal – Kreuz

19.12. (GER) – Nürnberg – Hirsch

20.12. (GER) – Oberhausen – Zentrum Altenberg

21.12. (GER) – Augsburg – Spectrum

22.12. (GER) – Ingolstadt –  Eventhalle

23.12. (GER) – Burglengenfeld – VAZ

2018:

03.05. (GER) – Würzburg – Posthalle

04.05. (GER) – Neuss – Partytur-Halle

05.05. (CH) – Aarburg – Musigburg

06.05. (GER) – Ludwigsburg – Rockfabrik .- Grosser Saal

Juni (AT) Wien Bike & Music-Open Air

20.07. (GER) Burg Greifenstein Open Air

17.11. (GER) Markneukirchen- Framus & Warwick MusicHall

Line-up:

Hans Ziller (Git & Back-Voc., founder of BONFIRE)

Alexx Stahl (Lead-Voc)

Ronnie Parkes (Bass & Back-Voc)

Tim Breideband (Drums)

Frank Pané (Git & Back-Voc)

Official Website

Facebook

 

Review: Bonfire – Byte The Bullet

UDR (March 2017)

Reviewer: Dan Mann

German hard rock band Bonfire are back with believe it or not their sixteenth album. With new vocalist Alexx Stahl, whose taken over from Michael Bormann after his short stint, who himself replaced David Reece who had been vocalist since the departure of the band’s original vocalist Claus Lessmann. A lot of people never seem to get over the fact a band’s vocalist has been replaced, refusing to accept the replacements regardless of talent. I’m not one of those people, preferring to concentrate on the actual music, and it’s got to be said, Alexx fits the band perfectly.

And so to the album itself. ‘Byte The Bullet‘ is without doubt a repeat spinner. Having already sampled the two singles, I was looking forward to seeing if the remainder of the album was of the same ilk. Opening an album with a seven minute track certainly nails things firmly to the mast, ‘Power Train‘ building slowly before launching into a pounding, rip roaring hard rock track.

The remainder of the album follows in good stead, the two singles ‘Praying 4 A Miracle‘, and a great cover of Jethro Tull’s ‘Locomotive Breath‘ certainly good choices as said singles. There is one slightly bizarre track, track ten to be exact, which has bassist Ronnie Parkes being asked to repeatedly say the track name ‘Friedensreich‘ to much amusement and laughter. That’s followed by an instrumental, ‘Instrumetal‘, which is a slight speed-fest by the band, as it’s played with a fairly hasty tempo combining well known segments of songs, ‘Hall Of The Mountain King’ being one.

The ballard ‘ Without You‘ highlight’s Bonfire’s passion for such songs, and shows that Alexx is more than capable of slowing things down as well as belting out songs.

The album rounds off with another version of the classic Bonfire track ‘Sweet Obsession‘ which of course made it’s first appearance on their legendary 1987 album ‘Fireworks‘. While it’s never going to hold the same position as the original, which I’ve played to death, it is certainly a worthy version and not one to be dismissed out of hand.

To sum up, I can see this being one to consider when it comes time to compile my favorite album releases of the year. Highly recommended.

 

 

byte-the-bullet

Bonfire have released  their next and brand new video & single ‘Praying for a Miracle‘, taken from the up-coming album ‘Byte The Bullet

The new album ‘Byte The Bullet‘, is available on 24th March, 2017

The album is available for pre-order now:

CD: http://hyperurl.co/BonfireBTBCD
Amazon MP3: http://hyperurl.co/BonfireBTBD
ITunes: http://hyperurl.co/BonfireBTBITHans Ziller-Guitars/Backing Vocals;

Line up:

Hans Ziller-Guitars/Backing Vocals;
Alexx Stahl Lead Vocals
Ronnie Parkes-Bass/Backing Vocals;
Frank Pane´-Guitars/Backing Vocals;
Tim Breideband – Drums

Official Website

Facebook

Folder

Bonfire – Glorious

Borila Rekords (April 2015)

Reviewer: Dan Mann

Well I guess we’d better get the ‘elephant in the room’ out of the way now seeing as it’s something that has dominated news of this release more than the actual music itself.

Bonfire have a new vocalist in the shape and form of David Reece, a singer who will be more than familiar to most of you reading this review. Those of you unfamiliar, David has song in Accept, Bangalore Choir, Gypsy Rose, Tango Down and EZ Livin’, the later being a fine starting block for the small jump over to front Bonfire.

The writing for this release was done by Hans Ziller and David Reece, with Hans handling the production, and a superb job he has done too.

And so to the important bit. The album!

We kick off with 21 Guns Salute (Goes Boom) which starts slowly with an intro almost a minute long, before you hear the distinct vocals of Mr Reece. Straight away there is a change to the familiar sound of Bonfire, a band I’ve followed since 86′, with a broader soundscape and with Alessandro del Vecchio adding layers of keyboards to the mix.

Nothin’ At All certainly is a pacier number with drummer Harry Reischmann slightly louder in the mix. I detect quite a few influences in this track, from hints of Deep Purple and Whitesnake, especially Purple style vocals around two thirds in. As with as David Reece’s voice, Hans Ziller’s guitar sound is also distinct and leads us nicely into the third track Can’t Break Away. Maybe I’ll be so bold as to say this is probably the best I’ve heard David sing for a few years. Not that he sings badly on the rest of the album, far from it. I’m just constantly drawn back to this particular track.

Remember would not be out of place on a Bangalore Choir album. If you’re familiar with that band’s work then you will know exactly what I mean. With an acoustic guitar as intro there’s a fair bet you’ve reached a ballad, and yes you’d be exactly right with Fallin’ Outta Love. Again this exemplifies the fact that David is on top form and also highlights the nice feel of the production.

The title track, appropriately named Glorious, is somewhat of an anthem, with a big chorus and a choir / orchestra vibe. Supernatural Disguise if I’m honest I found a bit of a plodder even with the big guitar break half way through. Another acoustic guitar intro for Shooting Star, which apart from the bonus track is the longest track on the album, coming in at 6.38. However it’s not one of those tracks that appear to drag on forgetting that it’s meant to end at some point. I love the guitar intro to Lies, just the sort of guitar sound that draws me into a band.

I’d certainly say that Put Out The Flames is the track closest to the Bonfire of old and I suspect ‘purists’ will wish there were more tracks like these on the album. I wasn’t sure which direction the intro to Freewheel Desperado was going with the sound of boots marching (don’t mention the war) However it is nothing more sinister then a biker walking to his ride and roaring off. I kept on having to stop myself singing Freewheel Burning! The next two tracks will possibly divide opinions as they are re-recordings of two tracks from the legendary Bonfire release ‘Fireworks’ Firstly you have Sweet Obsession followed by American Nights. Again, being totally honest, I think David Reece has done a damn good job on these re-recordings. What I don’t like are the new keyboards which don’t sit quite right, especially at the start of Sweet Obsession.

And finally we are presented with a bonus track in the shape and form of the all time classic With A Little Help From My Friends. I have to say I’m thoroughly enjoying this version and a fine job the band has done.

So there we have it, overall a very good album with only the occasional wobble along the way.

 

 

British Rock legends UFO are set to headline next spring’s HRH AOR 2 March 22nd.

The band released their 20th studio album ‘Seven Deadly’ last year to global acclaim and will headline the billing on the Saturday night. The current incarnation of the band includes founding members Phil Mogg (vocals), Andy Parker (drums), keyboard player Paul Raymond and guitarist Vinnie Moore and are a live force to be reckoned with.

Next Spring’s event takes place at Haven Hafan y Môr Holiday Park, Pwllheli, Gwynedd, North Wales on March 20th -23rd.

HRH AOR2

For more information and tickets go to www.hrhaor.com
Line-up announced so far below.
UFO
Graham Bonnet
Robin Beck
Tyketto
House of Lords
Love/Hate
Kee Marcello
Bonfire
Pink Cream 69
La Paz
Bonafide
Tigertailz
No Hot Ashes
Logan
Dynazty
Chasing Violets Featuring Frédéric Slama from AOR
ColdSpell
Dante Fox
White Widdow
Newman
Summers
Curran
Lawless
Hell To Pay
East of Eden
The Kix
Screaming Eagles

RPR -FBRR

On this Saturday’s show I will be joined by John Prakesh of Swiss band Shakra and playing three tracks from their brand new album Powerplay.

3-Play features singer/songwriter  Alexx Calise, new music from the Jan Holberg Project & Sons Of Angels. The 2-from-1 is courtesy of Bonfire with two tracks from their album Fireworks. Rounding the show off are tracks from Riverside & the Scorpions.

So tune in 1pm GMT on Firebrand Rock Radio.