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Conquerors - Stormbringer

by Matt Bozenda at 29 May 2021, 11:06 PM

Dear listener, what comes to your mind when the phrase “Old School” gets thrown out there? Forget name-dropping bands for now, think of an image instead. What do you see? Sorry to tell you this, but that cool image you might have is probably going to be perceived more like the time Billy Madison rolled up to Knibb High blasting “The Stroke” in a Trans-Am. It looked really cool until other people saw it.

From Reims in the north of France comes the howling gales of “Stormbringer”, the third full-length offering by Black/Thrash outfit CONQUERORS. Unlike the Melnibonean Prince’s legendary sword, this “Stormbringer” is more like a cudgel, gas-powered and burning a nickel’s worth every second. That inefficiency bleeds into the production, which will leave the listener wondering if the guitars and the drums were supposed to sound so disjointed at times.

Normally a track to track summary follows here, but believe this critic when he says the consistency between each song makes AC/DC seem like a crossover band. The eponymous first track, to offer some credit, does not tease the pace of the coming album. There is no melancholy piano, no 50’s Horror screams, and with the exception of the title being sung first there isn’t even a winding up, the pedal just gets shoved to the floor and there is no brake.

A bit off the accelerator may have helped though, because right away the chaotically mismatched sensibilities make for a jarring experience wherever one may draw the borders of their comfort zone. Then “World Eater” begins, sounding an awful lot like the first song. ‘Nothing if not consistent’ is aptly applied over each of the nine available tracks. It really isn’t until the outro track, “The Fallen”, that the band makes any interesting moves. It may be enough to stand out on this album, and is the only track worthy of the All-2021 Playlist from it, but against other rulers in the genre, it just doesn’t measure up.

Some of the tracks did seem like maybe a bit of touching up or rethinking would benefit them greatly, such as “Overlord” and “Siege Breaker”. A tightening of tempo or just a clearing up of noise would do the trick on several other tracks too, perhaps, but on this side of the speakers, we can only guess at their intentions (or lack thereof).

So, lovers of cacophonous Black/Thrash could do far worse if this is the sort of thing they seek. Metal festivals always need bands to play the third stage a few minutes before noon because, well, not everyone is a headliner. And CONQUERORS will not be headlining any festivals, never mind any stadiums or music halls. There is nothing here to indicate the fourth album will change any of that, either. If “Stormbringer” indicates anything at all, it’s the belief that persistence will pay off.

They had better hope so.

Musicianship: 6
Songwriting: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 5

3 Star Rating

1. Stormbringer
2. World Eater
3. Overlord
4. Crushing The Faith
5. Altar Of Tempst
6. Execration’s Path
7. Siege Breaker
8. The Crimson Crown
9. The Fallen
MORTY - guitars, vocals
OTTAR - bass
Record Label: Music-Records


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Edited 16 June 2021

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