Genre: melodic progressive metal
On their debut album, the Swedish progressive metal supergroup Firecracker (comprising members of VindictiV, Seventh Wonder, and the legendary death metal band Unleashed), offer ver melodic progressive metal, which sounds like a mix of 90s Fates Warning and early Dream Theater at the most melodic moments.
Now, the music 90s Fates Warning and early Dream Theater was memorable with lots of interesting things and hooklines which are not easily forgotten. I think that Firecracker lack this quality of memorability, as their songs (on this album at least) do not contain that many memorable elements. That being said, they are top notch musicians, and the songs on this album certainly are instances of high quality music. I do think that the keyboards are too prominent in the mix and tend to remove one's attention from the guitar (whose riffage is typically more interesting that the atmospheric chords of the keyboards on this album). The guitar and keyboard solos are virtuous and very shreddy. Impressive as shredding may be, it tends to become too much and, honestly, boring to listen to.
As I said, the music is generally good, though, and here are some of my favorite tracks of the album. "Instru(metal)" is heavier than the rest of the songs and, being an instrumental, there is a lot of room for interesting riffage and groove. "Back Broken" also belongs to the heavier department and contains some offbeat guitar riffs and odd time signatures (which I have a weakness for). "The Refrain" is a ballad with an incredibly cheesy chorus, but other than that, I actually that it's a pretty good song. Along with "Instru(metal)" my favorite track is "A Place Called Behind" with its obvious Fates Warning inspiration.
Recommended to fansk of melodic hard rock and melodic metal. Fans of progressive metal in general might also like "Born of Fire". Fans of extreme metal and musical brutality should stay away.