Sunday, February 16, 2014

Stormwarrior - Thunder & Steele

I discovered Stormwarrior back in 2002 with their self titled debut. I immediately became a fan of this band. They took me back with their obvious homage to Walls of Jericho era Helloween to include guest appearances from Kai Hansen, Dirk Schlachter and Markus Grosskopf. Yeah, their song titles are cheesy and they may not be innovators but goddamn are they good! So here we are in 2014 and they have released their fifth full length album Thunder & Steele. This album is more of the same from this band without sounding dated or stale. I don't know how they do it but they always seem to release quality albums time after time.

Lars Ramcke on the guitars and vocals is the only original member left but it shows that he is and always was the driving force behind this band. The songs on this album have the energy and speed of their past albums but still seem to sound fresh. He seems to have a slight Kai Hansen sound to his voice. The album kicks off with the title track and is just kick your teeth in speed metal. Blazing riffs, double bass madness and blistering's all there in it's true metal glory. The production has a Iron Savior sound to it because it was mixed and mastered by Piet Sielck. Songs like "Sacred Blade", "Ironborn", and "Die by the Hammer" are instant speed metal classics with huge hooks and melodies that border on epic.

There are some songs on the album like "Steelcrusader", Fyres in the Night", and "Child of Fyre" that are less speed metal and more straight up true metal. The riffs on these songs are catchy and the melodies and choruses are full of hooks. Of course no true metal song on the planet would be complete without killer guitar solos. The guitars on this album are outstanding...never overtly pretentious, just godly. Just listen to the solos on this album...especially on "Sacred Blade" and "Steelcrusader" and you will see what I mean.

Now some will probably give this album points off for their cheesy metal lyrics. I say fuck off! Yeah the lyrics are cheesy and the using "y" instead of "i" in the titles of "Fyres in the Night" and "Child of Fyre" may turn some people off as being more ridiculous than Manowar but for some reason these guys can get away with it.. These guys are the epitome of "True Metal" but it's not embarrassing like some band I know that starts with Man and ends with Owar!. As I said before, this has all been done before by numerous bands prior to these guys but Stormwarrior seem to pull it off with class. They pay homage to the early days of speed metal, not rip it off. I'm an older metal head and this just takes me back to the glory days of metal. This band and this album is essential for any metal head.


No comments: