Greek melodic metallers FIREWIND, who feature in their ranks current OZZY OSBOURNE guitarist Gus G., will celebrate their 10th anniversary by releasing a live album on June 24 via Century Media Records in Europe. Entitled "Apotheosis - Live 2012", the CD will contain 17 songs recorded at special anniversary shows in Greece as well as all over Europe during the band's "Few Against Many" tour in 2012. With a playing time of 69 minutes, the effort is a great overview of the band's career so far, which consists of seven studio albums. It also marks FIREWIND's final release with singer Apollo Papathanasio, who decided to leave the group at the end of last year. He has since been replaced by Kelly Sundown Carpenter (ADAGIO, BEYOND TWILIGHT) as session frontman for all 2013 live activities.
The cover artwork for "Apotheosis - Live 2012", which will be released as a digipak in its first limited-edition pressing, was designed by FIREWIND's longtime partner in all design matters, Gustavo Sazes (ARCH ENEMY, ANGRA, DREAM EVIL) based on live photography by Hans-W. Rock.
"Apotheosis - Live 2012" track listing:
01. Head Up High
02. Wall Of Sound
04. Few Against Many
05. The Departure
06. Heading For The Dawn
07. Losing My Mind
08. World On Fire
09. Guitar Solo 2012
11. Between Heaven And Hell
12. Piano Solo
13. Edge Of A Dream
14. Mercenary Man
17. Falling To Pieces
Stated Gus G.: "Apotheosis = the glorification of a subject to a divine level. That is the word that came to my mind while thinking of how I could best describe the feeling and the vibe of those four anniversary shows we played in our homeland Greece and our last European headline tour in 2012! So that had to be our live album's title. You can feel the energy on these recordings, you can hear the screams of the most hardcore fans and the FIREWIND chants... it's all there. No doubt about it, it's the sheer love from our fans and supporters that has kept us alive and strong for 10 years and we wanted to celebrate all that with this album. We recorded all those shows, chose the best performances and now we can't wait to release this one!"
In a recent interview with Metal Assault, Gus G. stated about Apollo's departure: "People following the band for the past few years would know that we've had different session guys at the live shows even when Apollo was in the band because he just had to skip a few tours during the year. So whenever the schedule was getting too heavy for him and he would have to take care of stuff back home, we had to get other guys. So this time, he had to skip again and he was like, 'You know, instead of holding you guys back, I might as well just quit.' I think he did the right thing for him, for us as well, because we can only do that [getting session vocalists] so many times and we're better off trying to find a new permanent guy instead of getting replacements for a tour. So at least now we know that we have to find somebody new, and in a sense it's a bit sad, but at the same time it's some sort of relief."
Asked if Carpenter is going to be the permanent replacement for Papathanasio, Gus said: "We don't know yet. We're not going to rush that decision. We're really happy with what he's doing on stage; he's doing a really good job. But we have this tour and then we have a few festivals back home and then FIREWIND might be on hiatus for a while, so we're going to see what we're going to do."
FIREWIND's latest album, "Few Against Many", entered the official chart in Greece at No. 42 and in Germany at No. 90. Released in Europe on May 21, 2012 via Century Media Records and in North America on May 22 through DisManic, Inc. via eOne Distribution, the CD was mixed by Jason Suecof and Eyal Levi at Audiohammer Studios (TRIVIUM, ALL THAT REMAINS, DEATH ANGEL) in Sanford, Florida.