ALBUM REVIEWS            



Begin Again

Wheels Of Fire are a melodic hard rock band from Italy formed in 2006, releasing their debut album 'Hollywood Rocks' in 2010. The follow-up, 'Up For Anything', was released in 2012, with the bands third album 'Begin Again', a 2019 release.    
During the late eighties/early nineties, the genre of melodic AOR was taking shape, with bands such as Night Ranger, Mr. Big and Danger Danger leading the way. Lighter than hard rocking bands such as Bon Jovi, Kiss and Ratt, melodic AOR was more a stroll than a stride. And that is exactly where Italians Wheels Of Fire place themselves. Adding a little touch of the sleaze and glam rock genres too, the bands third album 'Begin Again', is a wander rather than a waltz. Opener 'Scratch That Bitch' is a big riffing, punchy, mid tempo stroll through the AOR genre, with 'Lift Me Up' adding a massive amount of the Southern rock swagger. Catchy and sing a long able, 'Lift Me Up' is melodic AOR so reminiscent of that burgeoning eighties/nineties scene. 'Tonight Belongs To You' is the point where AOR meets soft rock, and butts heads with the hard rock genre. Punchy and hard hitting, 'Tonight Belongs To You' is a party anthem with an infectious sing a long style chorus. Smiles all around then...    
     the album progresses forth with another party anthem, the ballsy 'Done For The Day'. Definitely more hard rock than anything else on the album, 'Done For The Day' is a glorious smile inducing, wham bam style song that is gonna get pulses racing. Wheels Of Fire are a good time band, no doom and gloom here, with songs to lift your spirits, make you feel good and dance, err, did I just say dance...? Forty five minutes is packed with eleven songs, taking only five before the first ballad glides into view. Light those lighters and hold them high as the passion filled power ballad 'For You' strides past. Unusual to call a ballad a monster, but 'For You' is a mighty monster ballad. 'Keep Me Close' buzzes and fizzles its way forth, hitting very hard, and I just can't get bands such as White Lion, Firehouse and Tyketto (along with the aforementioned three) out of my mind. Wheels Of Fire are no way a retro band, they have just chosen a musical direction that was prominent thirty years ago. Nothing wrong with that...    
...'Heart Of Stone' a heavy foot stomp of big riffs and bigger chorus lines, displaying a huge feel good factor, a factor that Wheels Of Fire have sprinkled over their entire album. 'You'll Never Be Lonely Again' is a power ballad of the most melodic nature, sharing a corner of the AOR genre with bands such as Journey, Boston and Kansas. A warm fuzzy feeling is gonna come over so many, such is the infectious nature of the album, 'Another Step In The Dark' moving the album in a more American hard rock direction. The nearest the sound of the album gets to bands such as Cinderella, Slaughter and Britny Fox, 'Another Step In The Dark' does run somewhat close to the heavy metal genre, close enough to feel its breath on your neck. Most definitely back in the melodic AOR genre, 'Call My Name' is a Sunday afternoon easy listen, and a song to definitely play during a romantic evening to make it a more (ahem) romantic evening...! And crikey, really, the final song is here - where has the last forty minutes gone? The curtain is brought down on a glorious collection of AOR and party anthems with the biggest party anthem on offer. 'Can't Stand It' is punchy, hard hitting and full of enough bounce to keep you jumping up and down for a long time to come.    
Overall, an album packed to the rafters with party anthems and feel good songs, smiles are gonna be big and wide after just the one listen.    
Review By Iron Mathew Collins    
Reviewed For Metal Gods TV