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  BRAINSTORM
'Firesoul'
(AFM Records)
Release Date: April 7th 2014


Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus



brainstorm

Hail thee mere mortal of Metal addiction! Hark! Do'eth thou knoweth who these Metal Lords are?! They are Metal Kings from Germany who bring to our bleeding ears their tenth triumphant slab of solid Metal wonder; that is who!

From their debut studio opus 'Hungry' unleashed in 1997, they have prevailed where others have fallen to the dirt beneath their feet.

Brainstorm knows how to share a riff or three; they know how to scream and they know how to pound the mortal flesh and brittle bone in to nothing more than ashes. Guitarist and backing vocalist Torsten Ihlenfeld stated: "'Firesoul' is breathing the kind of spirit that 'Soul Temptation' and 'Metus Mortis' possess, but for us personally it even exceeds the earlier albums because the songs are refreshingly heavy and anthemic."

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The ten tracks on this sturdy platter of Metal are delivered with that super-efficient delivery you'd expect from a five-piece after plying their trade for such a length of time. Andy B Franck remains in fine voice as he belts out each and every syllable persuading anyone who listens to punch the air with their clenched fist!

The title track and first single from this collection produces an irresistible hook as it powers along. The opening song 'Erased By The Dark' starts out with what sounds like an individual desperately trying to ignite their lighter, and then the song stomps through the vegetation with big sexy leather boots.

In distinct contrast to their highlights which include 'Descendants Of The Fire' and 'Entering Solitude', there are those lumbering moments like 'Recall The Real' which happens to be the longest track on 'Firesoul' and perhaps 'The Chosen' which feels like it's trying too hard. The former does reveal a soaring chorus to join in with plus some haunting vocals in places, but it doesn't save the overall vibe for my tastes.

If you focus on the riffs then they are satisfying and prolific, and at points during the vocal performances you get the hint of a cross between Judas Priest and Manowar. So there's very little room to question their Metal credibility when they can dig deep and produce satisfying hooks like '...And I Wonder' or 'Feed Me Lies'. There is the faintest whiff of Iron Maiden when I hear 'What Grows Inside'.

Ultimately with 'Firesoul' you get a solid presentation of Metal which provides some moments that shine brighter than 100 suns, but it is too much to expect a completely satisfying experience from the first track to the very last breath. If you're looking for an aperitif before the main course which is the forthcoming Judas Priest album, then this might be the right release for you to sink your ears in to.

On the other hand, if a well produced ten track Metal album which doesn't have time for too much experimentation doesn't sound that appealing, then maybe the single and title track will seduce the senses sufficiently as a stand-alone audio treasure.

Erased By The Dark
Firesoul
Descendants Of The Fire
Entering Solitude
Recall The Real
Shadowseeker
Feed Me Lies
What Grows Inside
The Chosen
...And I Wonder


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