BRAINSTORM - DOWNBURST (2008, METAL BLADE RECORDS)
Andy B. Franck - vocals
Torsten Ihlenfeld - guitars
Milan Loncaric - guitars
Dieter Bernert - drums
If you had to choose between the two bands that lead singer Andy B Franck is a member of (Symphorce
and Brainstorm), then I'm certain the latter would be the option of choice. This German outfit who hail from Munich, have been around since the turn of the decade/century, but it wasn't until Andy joined the ranks that I took much notice of them. In fact, it was as recently as their last album from 2005 'Liquid Monster' that I sat up and took notice. Beyond that album, Brainstorm have moved up a notch yet again. Antonio Ieva is their new bass player, but it seems that he is not credited on the album. Notwithstanding, the back-end rhythm on this album is locked down tight. The new batch of songs are firing on all cylinders and the band continue to consolidate their position as one of the leading melodic metal lights on Metal Blade Records.
Our previous review of 'Liquid Monster' paid particular attention to Andy's vocals. Nothing changes here, as he still prowls the perimeter with intensity. From a traditional metal perspective, Brainstorm are operating at a heavier level than fellow German bands Tad Morose
for instance, and on occasion they can whip up a virtual maelstrom of their own making - given time and space. The melodies and choruses are all there, and though HM bands tend not to put too much focus on this aspect, the bands that appeal to us here at GDAZE are those that do.. Brainstorm included. No time for a nervous loo break as Brainstorm rip straight into it with 'Falling Spiral Down', and they continue on this path 'Fire Walk With Me' too. 'Stained With Sin' is at the lighter end of the scale by Brainstorm's metallized measurement stick but things return to normal with 'Redemption In Your Eyes'. 'End In Sorrow' is the band's obligatory ballad moment - and it drifts between the normal HM run-time and classical oriented passages. 'How Do You Feel' is a variation of Dionysus
"s style of run-about metal while 'Protect Me From Myself' increases the tempo and sense of drama. The double bass drums are set to maximum as are the spitfire guitar riffs. Brainstorm offer up something different with 'Surrounding Walls' - it veers down the progressive metal path with its keyboard intrusions and prog thematic's. The chugging guitars and the razor sharp vocals on 'Frozen' takes an ice-pick to a style last heard with Vicious Rumors
. Yeah it's industrial strength 'heavy' - one out of the forge. No last track epic-metal surprises here.. 'All Alone' wrapping things in the space of four minutes much to my relief!
I've given this album a good listen over several weeks before reviewing it. It's a good consistent Brainstorm album, though probably not as good as 'Liquid Monster' - which looks as if it is going to be the band's benchmark album. 'Downburst' has a formularized sound to it - one that is known only to Brainstorm. They know what works for them and keep to it without too much variation to the recipe. Brainstorm will venture out onto a month long tour through Europe during March 2008. There you can see and hear the band presenting material from 'Downburst'. Get in early and grab a copy of the album from your favorite CD retailer.
01 Falling Spiral Down
02 Fire Walk With Me
03 Stained With Sin
04 Redemption In Your Eyes
05 End In Sorrow
06 How Do You Feel
07 Protect Me From Myself
08 Surrounding Walls
10 All Alone
Brainstorm - 2005 Liquid Monster
Brainstorm - 2008 Downburst
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