"Don't Touch the Light MMXXIII" (AFM Records; 2023)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

So, when I heard that Bonfire were going to re-recorded three of their classic album, "Don't Touch the Light, " "Fireworks," and "Point Blank," I dug out original vinyl version of "Don't Touch the Light" and gave it a listen. The story is that guitarist Hans Ziller did the same thing, and he thought that the original 1986 album sounded a little dated when listened to today. And he was right. The original "Don't Touch the Light" still rocks, but it's definitely limited by the studio recording equipment and techniques that were state-of-the-art in 1986 but probably aren't being used at all today.

So, Ziller and band decided to try something to freshen up those nearly forty year old albums and they re-recorded "Don't Touch the Light, " "Fireworks," and "Point Blank" in a modern recording studio. The result is the MMXXIII series and, if "Don't Touch the Light MMXXIII" is an example of what the other two sound like, Bonfire did the right thing.

"Don't Touch the Light MMXXIII" is just as advertised: a modern re-recording of the nine tracks on the original album. Of course, the line-up has changed (don't they always), probably multiple times. So there's that change in sound. Plus, the brightness of modern recording techniques really shines here. This album sounds like it was just recorded yesterday, which, in a way, it was.

Also amazing is that the songs work as well, if not better, today. You'd never guess that these songs were written decades ago. The hooks are still there, the leads are still fiery, the lyrics hold up.

"Don't Touch the Light MMXXIII" will have your toes tapping, your head banging and you'll be singing along with every chorus. The original album was terrific. This modern version is brighter, sharper, and sounds brand new.

By the way, the other MMXXIII albums are now available as well.

Bonfire MMXXIII: Bonfire: Claus Lessmann - lead & backing vocals; Hans Ziller - lead & acoustic guitars, backing vocals; Horst Maier - lead guitar, backing vocals; Joerg Deisinger - bass, backing vocals; Dominik Huelshorst - drums, percussion, backing vocals.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2023 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.