|Brainstorm – ‘Memorial Roots’ (AFM Records)|
|Written by David Whistance|
|Monday, 05 October 2009 07:19|
Anybody expecting a review of Brainstorm, the Lativian pop band and runners up in the 2000 Eurovision song contest with their glorious bubble gum anthem 'My Star' will be sorely disappointed.
So pack away your sparkly jumpsuits and platform boots into your closet of kitsch, and dust off your bullet belts and studs to join me, David Whistance on a journey of metallic proportions.
This is the eighth album by German Melodic Power metal band Brainstorm, a band that is currently celebrating twenty years of 'Metal Prowess'.
I was fortunate enough to catch them recently supporting metal legends Primal Fear on the first night of their current European tour (you can read the review of that show here). And after witnessing them that evening I vowed to explore their extensive back catalogue, so you can't imagine my delight when the new album 'Memorial Roots' landed on the doormat for me to review.
Brainstorm are a certainly much more of a melodic affair on album than in the live arena. A haunting orchestral opening leading us into opening track 'Forsake What I Believe', featuring a haunting vocal style, that soon builds into a ferocious rock opus displaying the duel guitar wizardry of Torsten Ihlenfeld and Milan Loncaric helping seal this monumental piece of work. This takes us into the sublime 'Shiver'. Fans of the band's 2005 single 'All Those Words' will salivate at the greatness of this number, in no means does it replicate their former single, but it shares an equally infectious chorus that will tunnel into your mind, refusing to leave until it has left its metal seal of approval branded on your brain.
The fantastically titled 'Conjuction Of 7 Planets' has an underlining Maiden-esque melody running through it, whether this is an unashamedly tribute to the metal masters or merely a coincidence, either way it's simply a masterpiece of modern day metal. I defy anybody who listens to the fantastically overblown, grandeur of 'Cross The Line' not to want to recruit their very own battalion of soldiers and march mightily across fields and mountains, pillaging anything in their wake, whilst spreading the word of their metal majesty. 'Blood Still Stain' and 'Nailed Down Dreams' are fantastic works of melodic metal of grandiose proportions that present sweeping orchestral chorus along with an exceptional vocal ability that will have any metal aficionados frothing at the mouth.
Fans of Nevermore will adore 'Final Stages Of Decay' as Andy B Franks emulates the dark, warm tones of the Seattle legends.
'Victim' allows Andy B Frank to explore the versatility of his vocal chords as he begins the track as the ballad master before transforming into the 'Rock God', and dare I say even throwing in a Mustaine sneer for good measure.
Overall I would say that it's a well crafted, versatile slab of melodic, power metal, if you prefer your metal less melodic ala Primal Fear, Helloween, Wolf, then you may find the overblown, orchestral choruses a bit much to handle.
If however like me you like to occasionally indulge in the huge, overblown, grandeur of Brainstorm, then sit back, raise a tankard and toast the magnificence of 'Memorial Roots.'