Sweden has a qualitatively unbelievably good metal scene is now crystal clear to every scene connoisseur. From the traditional area it is now with STORMBURNER to welcome the former Starblind singer Mike Stark a relatively new band. With this ex-formation the frontman had whirled up some dust clouds in the underground, especially with the famous 2014 debut ‘Darkest Horrors’. Unfortunately, the second sign of life ‘Dying Song’ (2015) was much weaker and the troupe finally fell apart …
Anyway, the year 2020 is coming soon and Stark has now a new instrumental team under the banner STORMBURNER with Tommi Korkeamäki (rhythm / acoustic guitar), Mats Hedström (lead guitar) Tommy Jee on bass and drummer Stefan Essmyren presents ten new songs. These are stylistically uniquely positioned in the intersection of traditional melodic metal of the brand Manowar, Virgin Steele and Judas Priest.
Outstanding is still the immensely dynamic / powerful vocals of Stark, which also has an incredible range, still inspires me and probably the closest to that of Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear) is comparable. There’s hardly anything to be said about the performance of the aforementioned instrumental team, but Sound & Mix, for which Ronny Hemlin (Tad Morose, Steel Attack) was responsible, unfortunately does not quite match the level of the tracks on the recordings. A pinch of more force and transparency would have done the disc well. Especially with the drum sound recordings, Hermlin probably just made a nudge, because I’ve heard better demo recordings in this regard! For the most part, the snare sounds just bad, as if Essmyren had a cardboard box in front of him …
Meanwhile, the cover art is great, because the Manowar house and yard artist Ken Kelly has created a hand and created a little masterpiece!
As a highligts of a music talellosen plant, which should make any traditional metal fun, I’ll put the zukünigtte live anthem “Metal In The Night”, the brilliant “Demon Fire”, the two earmuffs rammer “Ragnarök”, “Men At Arms” and the epic blockbuster “Ode To War”.
As with the entry “We Burn” it exaggerates Stark in phases with its high screams. He should gradually put that off, because less is more in this regard!
All in all, ‘Shadow Rising’ is teeming with awesome songs and with a better sound I would have gotten a clean nine of mine. But even so, I can emphatically recommend this record to fans of traditional heavy metal with a clear conscience!
Pit Schneider, December 2019
Read the review at Schweres-Metall (In German)