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Stormhunter - Strangle With Care Award winner

Strangle With Care
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 05 October 2022, 3:06 PM

Sometimes, due to many waves of commercial success, people can lose sight of what a Metal genre is about. To be technical doesn’t mean that you’re a Power Metal or Prog Metal act, because the deeper features of a specific Metal genre are deeply laid (what doesn’t mean that one can’t blend elements). This is the reason that some Metal fans become bugged about when a band is said this or that: the lack of a deeper understanding of what a Metal genre is. This explanation must be given before dealing with the German quintet STORMHUNTER, because “Strangle With Care” has a lot to show in many points.

The band follows a Power Metal tendency that can’t be compared with the model created by HELLOWEEN on “Keeper of the Seven Keys” (both parts) days and that became a paradigm throughout the years. To be true, they’re into a model that is nearer the origins of the genre, combining the influences of JUDAS PRIEST energy with some NWOBHM and Speed Metal elements, and even some choruses bring to mind what QUEEN did on the past. Of course this form of music isn’t new, but the way they work is honest and personal, full of energy and weight, along with many good melodic hooks, with non-exaggerated speed or technique. It’s very good, indeed. The sonority can sound a bit drier than the usual model that the fans of the genre are used to find. But’s very good, organic and defined, allowing the songs to be expressed in a form that can be understood by anyone. And what good instrumental tunes can be heard.

The band really presents a very good work, full of energy, and it’ll be hard for the fans to resist to them. On “Mind Odyssey”, some elements of the known model of Power Metal (as the double bass drums) can be heard in some moments, but with heavy guitars and fine vocals and backing vocals. On “Headbanger’s Ball” one will hear the clear influence of NWOBHM acts (especially IRON MAIDEN) on the guitar riffs and duets, with a classic Heavy Metal dynamics on bass guitar and drums, with the same happening on “Paralyzed” (besides with a stronger influence of German Heavy Metal due the weight and melodic strength). Again using the actual model for Power Metal (but with a heavier insight), “Remnants of Society” shows a very good and fast dynamic, with very good vocals (that uses low tuned sets of voice, running always from those usual thin high pitches). And “Balles Masquées” shows a tendency nearer of some melodies common for bands as GAMMA RAY, but with a personal insight.

“Strangle With Care” is a very good release that has a sin: it could be a full album! And STORMHUNTER deserves applause for such an honest and good work.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Mind Odyssey
2. Headbanger’s Ball
3. Paralyzed
4. Remnants of Society
5. Balles Masquées
Frank Urschler - Vocals
Stefan Müller - Guitars, Vocals on “Balles Masquées”
Burkhard Ulrich - Guitars
Fritz - Bass
Andreas Kiechle - Drums
Record Label: G.U.C. Records


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