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Brainstorm - Firesoul Award winner

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 31 March 2014, 9:57 PM

Germany’s Power Metal act BRAINSTORM are one of the heavy hitters in the Metal scene of today, though I would add that they are also one of the best kept secrets, especially in America. This is their tenth studio album, yet they remain relatively unknown in the West. I hope to change some of that with this review, and this has always been a band that I have enjoyed, and feel their strong combination of Power Metal, tinged with a side of the NWOBHM Classic Metal sound, makes them one of the best bands in Metal today.

“Erased By The Dark” opens with an ominous punch, and the raspy, soaring voice of Andy Franck.  I have always thought he had a Bruce Dickinson type of style to his singing, and he has never sounded so fresh.  The chorus is dark but welcoming at the same time.  The running double bass pushes forth the meter in earnest.  The title track, “Firesoul”, is a bit faster but with no loss of clout.  He wails the song title in the chorus as background harmonies rise up to add some contrasting layers.

“Entering Solitude” slows things down a bit, into a more emotional piece with a towering chorus and potent message.  There are soft, mellow guitar solo harmonies as well.  I really like the track “Recall The Real”. It has an ethereal entrance that echoes the chorus in delicate harmonies, and there is just enough of a synth and guitar presence to support the sublime feeling it leaves you with.  There is a righteous quality to it and is chocked full of melodious moments that carry you away. The haunting ending sums it all up perfectly. By contrast, “Shadowseeker” returns with a triumphant savageness.  This is a classic Power Metal song in every sense of the genre. Power Metal can at times come off as cheesy or campy, but not with BRAINSTORM.  You can hear the genuine approach to their songwriting, and there is no pretention, overly complex detours, or over the top musical wanking.

Other highlights include the rhythmic “What Grows Inside,” which is on the more dark and brooding sound of the album, and the heavily picked riffing give it a sinister quality.  Nor should I fail to mention the wonderful riff and bombastic chorus of “The Chosen One.”  But a strong closing song is the key to an outstanding listening experience, and “…And I Wonder” has it all.  There is a charming serenity…a lot of feeling…interesting chord progressions, a strong chorus and supporting lead guitar work.

There is might and potency to the overall sound on the album.  Their unique brand of Power Metal encompasses much more than the traditional boundaries of the genre. As with everything they do, there is a menacing quality to their music that is downright bossy. But they never lose sight of the melody. As far as I am concerned, this band has to be in any discussion of the best Power Metal bands of today.  Do yourself a favor, and pick up this album.

4 Star Rating

1. Erased By The Dark
2. Firesoul
3. Descendants of the Fire
4. Entering Solitude
5. Recall The Real
6. Shadowseeker
7. Feed Me Lies
8. What Growns Inside
9. The Chosen
10. …And I Wonder
Andy B. Franck – Vocals
Torsetn Ihlenfeld – Guitars
Milan Loncaric – Guitars
Antonio Ieva – Bass
Dierter Bernert – Drums
Record Label: AFM Records


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