Chuck Schuldiner Project

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Brainstorm-On The Spur of the Moment

So I have been basking in the glory of Brainstorms new album On The Spur of the Moment features their heavy power metal sound that makes for fun listening and headbanging splendor. From the trippy intro and doom ridden chords of Below the Line to the glorious finish of My Own Hell this album is a tasty slab of heavy metal. The guitars are roaring featuring lots of heavy and brutal riffs. The bass is exceptionally meaty giving Brainstorm their super deep sound. The drums are solid and also bass heavy. Finally the vocals have fiery snarls mixed in with powerful vocals fit in nicely with the lyrics giving the music a dark fantasy feel. Brainstorm is one of the greatest power metal bands to ever come out of Germany and they prove it once more with this album.

Brainstorm has been known for a long time for their solid guitar and bass oriented sound. With down tuned and thudding guitars these guys rock brutal riffs. One of my favorites is the riff in Temple of Stone, it is features the typical Brainstorm style fill, it is short and memorable yet at the same time overwhelmingly aggressive. However. By the later tracks on this album the typical Brainstorm fill becomes just a bit too typical and even kind of meh. The guitarists of Brainstorm also have a tendency to emphasize staccato type riffs to get your body moving. Yet in their choruses they will emulate NWOBHM stalwarts Iron Maiden by having powerful chords held for one or two bars. This tends to give the music an epic feel and capture the fantasy aura that is sought after in so many of these killer tracks. The solos are frequent and do a good job of meeting the atmosphere of the song. Some solos are slow and moody and others feature high speed shredding. All in all the guitar work on this track is exceptionally powerful and takes brutality in power metal to a new level.

The bass on this record is very impressive. What bassist Antonio Ieva does to get that special brutal sound is match up the guitar riff perfectly. Then with a bass turned up significantly louder than others in the genre Ieva manages to get a really brutal sound on his riffs and helps to make his band awesome. At times though the bass is too heavy and actually disrupts the guitar riffs. In addition to his riffing under the guitars Ieva gets a ton of solo fills and he rocks them using them to add lots of flavor to the music. Drummer Deter Bernert is also an exceptional player, he has a special emphasis on his double bass drum that helps the band to become heavier than nearly every other power metal band out there. However sometimes his battered 16ths get repetitive and turn redundant taking away from the sound. However moreoften his frenetic drumming in tracks like Still Insane give the music a great chaotic feel and helping to make Brainstorm unique.

The vocals of singer Andy Franck are excellent. With his bellowing style reminiscent of Atilla of Powerwolf. When he wants to Franck can crank it up to eleven and belt out huge sonic bolts from his mighty lungs. His voice is very deep and this is yet another factor that makes Brainstorm awesome. Yet on occasion Franck fails to harness his voice and shows some mildy pathetic shouted passages. Still, there is a brooding evil behind the voice of Andy Franck and this is exemplified in the horror and fantasy lyrics. A key example of this is in the track “Dark Life” where Franck sings “Mystic voices are guiding me/ Meaningless words disrupt the air I breathe”. This is just one example of the brilliant and evil lyrics of Brainstorm. Another example from Where Your Actions Lead You to Live furthers this theme of strange evil: “Now that we have fallen/ Where day has come to end”. In short, Franck and his lyrics are excellent.

In conclusion, Brainstorm is a sick power metal band with a low brutalized sound that does not fail to deliver. These songs have a darker evil behind them and the music is just brilliant. The guitars feature all kinds of heavy riffs and take the music to the first level of blackness. The loud bass and heavy drums bring us down a few more. Finally Andy Franck rips out aggressive vocals with black lyrics to bring us to the seventh circle. This album rocks and features one of the greatest power metal sounds of the year. Go check this bad boy out.


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