CD Reviews

Stormhammer - 'Welcome To The End'

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 27, 2018    
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Overall, for a Thrashy, Power Metal experience, Stormhammer deliver.

These German Metalheads maintain the same line-up as their last outing 'Echoes Of A Lost Paradise'. It has less of the Progressive edge of that one, yet this is as strong as any of their previous five records. This time they've gone for real Metal, heavy and made for those who would list their favourite thing as dressing up in chainmail and going into battle wielding a sword and lopping off heads. To their credit, across fourteen songs, the band do a good job in keeping it varied. The production keeps it raw and bleeding so it has an underground feel rather than an airbrushed Metal album.

There's Power Metal meets Thrash on 'Northman', then an Iron Maiden and Blind Guardian feel during tracks like 'The Law' and 'The Heritage', on which Natalie Pereira Dos Santos adds some vocal, but she's kept quite far back in the mix. The latter has some strong speedy soloing and you can imagine the Knights Of The Round Table singing along to this one after several flagons of ale. Some of it has a darker feel, such as the blisteringly heavy 'Secret' and 'The Road To Heaven'. 'Watchmen' has an interesting hook, cool aggressive drumming and a proper old-school head-banging finale.

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Quite different is 'My Dark Side' in that it has a deeper Gothic feel in the manner of Sisters Of Mercy with more subtlety than you might anticipate from the other tracks, and 'Into The Night' keeps that Gothic approach going with one of the album's catchiest choruses, bolstered by more Thrashing guitar work.

J├╝rgen Dachl's vocals are hit and miss. He's got the gruff, muscular voice needed to carry the tunes and he does it well for the most part, but on occasion his approach can teeter into hammy, as on the stern-faced 'Black Dragon'. Overall, for a Thrashy, Power Metal experience, Stormhammer deliver.

Duncan Jamieson

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