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Voltstorm – Voltstorm

Voltstorm
Voltstorm
by Mark Machlay at 18 April 2022, 3:17 PM

British metalheads VOLTSTORM have announced their arrival with their self-titled mini album released on March 25, 2022. Formed in 2019, singer John Prasec and guitarist Fred Stigliano came together with drummer Ivo Yordanov joining soon after to form a band that harnesses a vast range of potent rock and classic heavy metal influences, similar in style to bands such as HELLOWEEN, IRON MAIDEN, METALLICA and JUDAS PRIEST. Although the band may be a relatively new project, the member have a pedigree and extensive live experience with each individual members playing tours throughout England, Italy, Bulgaria, Brazil, Argentina, Austria and Croatia. These riff-meister thunder in with a sound laced with stout drumming, robust riffs and captivating hooks. Their lyrical focus is on both political and real-life issues, giving the band weight with a strong social consciousness and clear message. Unfortunately, due to the worldwide pandemic, their plans were initially derailed in 2020.

Thankfully, the time spent inside afforded them more time to work on new material. Their work was recorded at Rogue Studios in Wembley with producer Alessio Garavello who has worked with the likes of DAVID ELLEFSON, DRAGONFORCE, POWER QUEST and FREEDOM CALL. The band relay regarding their release, “This record represents the band’s vision of current world affairs, a vision which can be dystopian, like the times when the songs were conceived, written and produced. We wanted to create the best possible performance in the studio, and we worked relentlessly to achieve that.” It’s a truly interesting release in which the band rampage for thirty minutes through a variety of heavy metal genres from melodic metal to power metal to straight-up old school heavy metal. Now that everything is opening back up, the band is currently touring around the UK while writing and recording material for their eventual follow-up, attempting to hit the studio in late 2022.

While they may have made some odd production choices while others are perfect, VOLTSTORM have produced a banger with a strong debut album, while I wanted more from the skimpy 30 minute runtime. I’ll address production first, the drums are punchy as hell and really drive the updated 80s power metal vibe throughout the album but at times the mix itself can seem a bit bland and undynamic at times with the guitars always sounding just a little bit too washed out. That aside, they come out swinging with “C.O.D.”, a strong warrior’s anthem with fiery guitar hooks and a particularly strong vocal performance from John Prasec. The following track “One Life” is similar in style but often relies more on the one two-punch of the drums to carry the more chuggy song along. “The Game” then slows things down a bit and Prasac again shows his versatility swinging from sweet to sinister to power singing. This is where I start to realize, I’ve yet to hear nary a memorable riff but the melodies themselves are catchy as hell. I wasn’t much of a fan of the more plodding older school metal track “Mind Control” but perked back up on the slow burn of “Rebel”, another rather anthemic track that is perfect for a live audience to rant along to. Arguably, final track “No Surrender” is the strongest track on the album in which they pull out all the stops for synthy leads and a grandiose chorus, with breakneck speed guitar and drumming licks making for an epic closer.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. C.O.D.
2. One Life
3. The Game
4. Mind Control
5. Rebel
6. No Surrender
Lineup:
John Prasec – Vocals
Fred Stigliano – Guitars
Ivo Yordanov – Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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