JUSTIN’S METAL REVIEWS W/C 2/11/09
BRAINSTORM / MEMORIAL ROOTS
This is the 8th studio album from German Power Metal band Brainstorm and a new label, now signed to AFM the band seem to have been revitalised as a result, because what we here is prime Metal at its absolute best.
Right from the lead track “Forsake What I Believe” you are left in no doubt that the band are hungry again, crushing Power chords, mix with delicate Melodies and underpinned with some great drumming and more dynamics than you could shake a stick at. The track “The Conjunction Of 7 Planets” is a 6 minutes plus monster with more twists and turns than a downhill bobsleigh run and at times, just as speedy, the lead guitar work is extensive, fluidic and awe inspiring to listen to, the band get almost progressive during this workout and the track is awesome. If your looking for something a little more concise then look no further than “Blood Still Stains” which is just balls to the wall Power Metal with a touch of Melody and a riff that other bands would kill for.
If you have not herd Brainstorm for a couple of albums you will be well impressed by this superb effort and well deserving of album of the week, go buy it now and get the digipack that has not one, but two extra tracks.
TOTAL PLAYING TIME = 55 mins + 11 SCORCHING TRACKS
BRAINSTORM / JUST HIGHS NO LOWS
Hot on the heels of the bands new albums for new label AFM, Metal Blade release this best of CD but this is not just the usual cash in, it brings together the best of the band so far, with bonus and live tracks across 2 x CD’s and here is the best bit its mid price.
As best of go, it charts the career of the band so far and as the title suggest its all highs, there are at least 4 tracks off all their albums and you don’t need me to tell you which ones are on here, suffice to say that they all kick serious Ass and show just how good this German band are and have been. What makes this essential, apart from the price is the addition of the inclusion of all the bonus tracks that have appeared on compilations, Japanese CD’s and even a couple of live ones for good measure.
As an overview of Brainstorm there is nothing on here I would change, whether you are an old fan or a new one you will find this an essential purchase and a great companion to their new CD Memorial Roots.
TOTAL PLYING TIME = 145 mins + 30 TRACKS x 2 CD’s
HYPOCRISY / A TASTE OF EXTREME DIVINITY
It’s been 17 years since the first Hypocrisy album was released, 11 albums later Sweden’s finest are still delivering the goods, stonger and Heavier than ever, most bands mellow with age but thankfully not these guys.
Looking at the cover you would think the band were a Black Metal band with a body laying on an alter with a hooded figure about to sacrifice the poor victim but the music is most definitely Melodic Death Metal at its best. When Peter Tagtgren is on form no one comes even close to what the guy can achieve all the songs are full of Power and a controlled aggression, coupled with a flamboyant sense of Melody that is prevalent throughout this fine CD. The songs are hard hitting and full of really good guitar riffs and an underlying melody, check out “Hang Him High”, “Valley Of The Damned”, “Solar Empire” and “Weed Out The Weak” for further proof. It’s not until “The Quest” that the pace slows a little and becomes more deliberate, with a haunting, almost Doom like Melody, full of angst and harmonised guitar riffs.
I have to admitting to loving what Hypocrisy does, so no chance of a totally un biased review but I feel most Metal fans would agree with what I’ve written, get the digepak as it has an extra track! Album of the week, no problem and if you have listened to either my Hfm or Pipeline shows you will already have heard several tracks.
TOTAL PLAYING TIME = 50 mins + 11 GLORIUS TRACKS