FRONT ROW WARRIORS Album Review: “Wheel Of Fortune”

“Wheel Of Fortune”
Album Review by Iron Mathew


Front Row Warriors are a melodic metal band from Germany formed in 2019, releasing their debut album ‘Wheel Of Fortune’ in 2023.

Formed by drummer Jay G, singer Elkie Gee, and guitarist Sorin Badin, the band are completed by keyboardist Richie Seibel (Ivanhoe, Them), bassist Timo Michels, and (second) guitarist Stefan Binnig (Septagon) – ‘Wheel Of Fortune’ featuring twelve songs in just under fifty minutes…

…beginning with the one minute instrumental come spoken word intro ‘2022’, setting a tense and anticipation fuelled atmosphere for what’s about to come – the all out gallop of the fast paced ‘Chasing Shadows’. The band are at full tilt, hammering the senses with a blend of infectious and immensely melodic heavy metal, the chorus a sing a long-able affair that every listener everywhere will enthusiastically sing a long to! Some days I don’t know what I want or where I wanna be! But today – I know exactly where I wanna be, right here listening to Front Row Warriors, the band recently emerging from the country that’s renowned the world over for continually producing great heavy metal bands. And if you don’t know which country, shame on you. It’s Germany, famous for its beer and sausages and a whole host of metal bands – far too many to mention here though! The album quickly descends into foot stomping anthemic territory for ‘Fantastic’, shuddering the ground with every step it takes – even bringing a touch of AOR to the fore! Yes, AOR – the six-piece outfit from Stuttgart melding rock into their heavy metal roots. And in the shape of the stunning Elkie Gee, the band have a singer capable of traditional metal vocals as well as arena rock!

Maintaining an incredible rock and metal mix, Front Row Warriors march on with the elegant ‘Love Is Not A Game’, bombastically pounding the ground hard. The opening double salvo has been head turning, every listener around the world sitting up to take notice of an infectious and immediate sonic assault. An assault that is flowing freely, ‘Wheel Of Fortune’ moving forth with the melodic heavy rocker ‘Deadly Sins’ – and an electrifying change of pace! ‘Deadly Sins’ turns on its heels and roars off into the distance, offering the best opportunity so far to head bang hard! Many a long day I think of things, but nothing seems to satisfy, but I reckon Front Row Warriors are gonna be the satisfaction I often crave! The bands meld of metal and rock is jaw dropping, a tense eeriness descending upon the album in the shape of the menacing ‘Damnation’, a sub one minute effects laden passage with frightening female screams…

…segueing straight into the heaviest hitting song heard so far, ‘Hell Invaders’ a meaty foot stomp of buzzing guitars – the buzzing guitar sound so synonymous with the iconic NWOBHM evolution. Heavily anthemic, and featuring touches of the epic and glory styles of metal, raise your glasses high to the power and glory of ‘Hell Invaders’. Oh yeah! Picking up the pace and tempo, the title song ‘Wheel Of Fortune’ features a more raucous nature, with slight punk inflections – for at least the first twenty seconds or so! Adopting a more traditional “foot on the monitor” feel, ‘Wheel Of Fortune’ (the song) romps energetically to a finish, beating the hell out of listeners, fans and followers – I’m telling ya readers, feel the beat it goes straight to your spine, shake your head you must be dead if it don’t make you fly! The album has been a non-stop metal and rock roller coaster since it began, and with no sign of a breather coming any time soon, ‘Wheel Of Fortune’ (the album) marches on with the reined in power of ‘Hell Awaits’, a majestic and elegant swagger of hard rocking, highly melodic heavy metal. The band are striding very tall and proud here, ‘Hell Awaits’ oozing pomp and grandeur in endless abundance.

And with unrelenting energy and oomph, the band roar on with the devastating ‘Dystopian Time’, punching harder than any other song heard so far – ‘Wheel Of Fortune’ (the album) maintaining its impressive and unbroken infectious aura. Not forgetting the high levels of head bang ability and sing a long ability – Front Row Warriors delivering one of the best debut albums I’ve heard this year. Placing it firmly on listeners playlists where it will be replayed time and time again, the many hours of listening to ‘Wheel Of Fortune’ (the album) will have you living after midnight, rocking to the dawn! And as the album nears its end the band keep their foot firmly pressed to the metal, ‘The Hunter’ bouncing high with the most infectious barrage of melodic heavy metal heard so far – the album still getting better and better! Even after the eleventh out of twelve songs on offer! Simply incredible stuff from the German outfit – ‘Wheel Of Fortune’ (the album) coming to a close with the six and a half minute long ‘Wasted Life’. The longest song on offer by a country mile, ‘Wasted Life’ has strains of eighties rock woven in to its melodic metal framework. Highly anthemic with a strong hymn-like nature, ‘Wasted Life’ is a wonderful ending to a wonderful album of stunning metal and rock.

Overall, fifty roaring minutes of heavy hitting, hard rocking melodic metal with an immense infectious level.


01. 2022
02. Chasing Shadows 
03. Fantastic
04. Love Is Not A Game
05. Deadly Sins
06. Damnation
07. Hell Invaders 
08. Wheel Of Fortune  
09. Hell Awaits 
10. Dystopian Time (feat. Todd Michael Hall)
11. The Hunter
12. Wasted Life

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