Fireworks

Stormzone - 'Zero To Rage' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/ce/f3/ec/1910_stormzonezerotorage_1327350134.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 23, 2012    
 
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Well crafted songs and superb musicianship

Belfast Metallers Stormzone have certainly crammed a lot into the last 6 years. To date: 3 albums, and countless European tours, that have seen them supporting the likes of Y&T, White Lion, Tesla, Cinderella and the list goes on. They have also graced some of the biggest stages, including the Wacken Festival. 

So I knew that the latest album 'Zero To Rage' would, at the very least be a 'full on' affair. As soon as the atmospheric opening to 'Where We Belong' hits your ears - full of stark drum sounds and ethereal keyboard swathes, instantly the batallions have been lined up for war. This 'chest pumping, call for arms' seems to be the underlying theme to the album. Vocalist John 'Harv' Harbison sings as though his life depends on it, equal parts Michael Kiske and Geoff Tate. The title track 'Zero To Rage' for example sees the band in full-on speed metal mode with Harv's vocals soaring for the skies and a twin guitar assault from Keith Harris and Steve Moore that bring to mind the heady days when KK Downing and Glen Tipton ruled the worlds stages. This is unashamed Heavy Metal worship and the band even tip a nod to Manowar and Iron Maiden with the cinematic experience that is 'This Is Our Victory', full of fist pumping bravado.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The intensity level is dropped a notch with 'Last Man Fighting', and the bands variety is evident with a bouncing guitar riff that Kirk Hammett would be proud of. The vocals once again are a joy to behold within the more restrained context of the song. No metal band gets away without embracing their NWOBHM influences, 'Empires Of Fear' sees the band tipping their hats to all things Priest and Maiden with some stunning guitar histrionics thrown in. For me the song that really shows the bands worth is 'Inside My Head'. Some wonderful atmospherics allow the band to show off their more subtle side. The infectious guitar riff and Harv's richer tones show a band happy to step outside the box.

For the main part this is an album at full throttle, well crafted songs and superb musicianship. It is when the band drops it down a gear that the variety begins to show through. In Harv the band has a real star. A vocalist of true class and this is simply a majestic album.

Dave Evans

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