Being a hardcore fan of Firewind I have to say I was pretty disappointed with their latest release. 3/5
The Bad: Half of the songs are forgettable ("Kill In The Name Of Love" 's lyrics are so cheesy its cringe worthy, "Embrace The Sun" is a ripoff of one of FW's best songs "Falling to Pieces", and not even a good ripoff. The ballad "Broken" is a passable ballad.)
The Good: Now, with that said, there are definitely some great songs on this album. The Ark Of Lies is a blistering opener, World On Fire (the first single) is another great song. Heading for the Dawn is my favorite, it even has its own little intro track. This album also has an instrumental (FW's previous album The Premonition did not have an instrumental). SKG is, in my opinion, FW's best intro since Fire and the Fury, it goes back and forth between breakneck speed and sort of mellowing out with ethereal sounds. Apollo's vocals, while slightly less strong than they were on Allegiance and The Premonition, are still very good. Gus G as usual can still come up with amazing solos like nobody's business.
Unfortunately, even the standout tracks on this album aren't nearly as memorable (or as good) as ones on their previous albums. I know for many people this will be their introduction to Firewind (because of Gus G's newfound fame as Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist) but if you think this is a great album, then you'll be totally mind-blown by albums such as Allegiance and Burning Earth (the latter of which had a different vocalist) which I believe are their two best albums.
I've been a huge huge Firewind fan since Allegiance and i'm pretty disappointed in Days of Defiance. Overall this album seems somewhat half ass, literally. While there are certainly good songs on DoD, there isn't much that the hardcore Firewind fan hasn't heard yet.
Top 3 songs: Heading For The Dawn, The Ark Of Lies, World On Fire