Sjak : The line-up of the German melodic rock band Bonfire was during a large number of years fairly stable and especially the tandem Hans Ziller (guitar) and Claus Lessmann (vocals) proved to be a very strong duo, which was capable of giving the easy-listening material of the band just that little bit of extra flavour, which made them rise well above the average band within the genre. In the beginning of 2015 the long-time collaboration between Ziller and Lessmann came to an end and the last mentioned was replaced by ex-Accept singer David Reece, with whom the album ‘Glorious’ was released. Shortly thereafter David Reece was thanked for his services again as the idea was to use Michael Bormann as the singer for the next album. He was however too busy with other activities and therefore the in 2017 released record ‘Byte The Bullet’ was recorded with Masters Of Disguise singer Alexx Stahl. That collaboration proved to be the right one, because also on this meanwhile fifteenth full-length studio album ‘Temple Of Lies’ mister Stahl can be found behind the microphone.
In my opinion that’s a good choice because the powerful and versatile vocals of this singer definitely add value to ‘Temple Of Lies’. Generally the band is headed into a somewhat heavier direction, without losing the melodic aspect for a single moment by the way. After the intro ‘In The Beginning’ (on which the American voice actor David Michael Williamson is featured) the fast title track is blowing out of your speakers with very recognizable Judas Priest influences. The guitar duo Hans Ziller and Frank Pané takes care of the lovely speedy riff and Alexx Stahl’s voice shows quite some resemblance with Rob Halford on this great tune. The start is therefore well succeeded, but there are more examples of mighty-fine songs to be found on ‘Temple Of Lies’, because also the melodic ‘On The Wings Of And Angel’, the mid-tempo ‘Feed The Fire’, de ballad ‘Comin’ Home’ and the fast ‘Stand Or Fall’ are very worthwhile listening to, although that more or less applies for the whole album.
As already mentioned ‘Temple Of Lies’ is somewhat heavier than what Bonfire normally brings to market and the excellent guitar work is placed very prominent in the mix. That, combined with a keen eye for melody and accessibility of the song material, for me brings us the best Bonfire album since years and I must honestly say that I didn’t expect the band to be capable of delivering such a fresh and energetic album anymore. As such a very stong recommendation for people who are into a healthy mix of heavy and melodic material!