Yesterday I looked into the review for another Swedish band named Mindless Sinner and their latest album where Heavy Metal of the purest breed reigns with an iron hand. Now is the time for compatriots Stormburner to introduce their debut album “Shadow Rising” to us, a first masterpiece since their inception in 2016. Releasing a first album after almost four years of existence seems like a long period of time, but I can guarantee you that the wait has been more than worth it.
Available on CD/Vinyl & Digital, this Swedish quintet makes it true to create very successful compositions that will appeal to every Heavy Metal defender. The recordings/producing works were done by Ronny Hemlin, a great artist we also know for his vocal service in bands like Steel Attack, Inmoria, Nocturnal Rites, Bibleblack, Lack Of Faith and stuff. The fantastic cover artwork by fantasy artist Ken W. Kelly (Kiss, Rainbow, Ace Frehley and Rainbow) reflects the character of Stormburner, Epic Heavy Metal!
We get 10 songs during a playing time of almost 50 minutes and the tempo reaches a reasonably high level. Fiery, cutting riffs and well-structured solo parts of both guitarists in service. The thunderous drums and loud bass lines are in line with this kind of metal music so don’t hesitate and let the diaphragm of your speakers vibrate gracefully ! The strong vocals also left a strong impression on me, the way Mike Stark puts his voice forward is simply outstanding. You have to look for his range of voices in the top-notch regions, melodic and extremely high-pitched vocal service. Eric Adams (Manowar) meets Ski (Deadly Blessing) meets Rob Halford (Judas Priest), I think this says enough about Mark Stark’s style of singing. The combination of the falsetto and high shrieks to work contagious!
The songwriting across the whole nine yards is brilliant, no boring moments at all… “Shadow Riding” only provides me with a time of pure relaxation and affection thanks to a well-functioning team of metal musicians. Even when the speed goes up, a restful feeling falls over my soul… Heavy Metal is capable of much more than only making noise and other rubbish most people dare to claim, give ‘em hell!
The music of Stormburner is as True as can be, Epic to the bone and it is not at all innovative but these guys manages to add its own contribution to a genre where many do not succeed in achieving a good result. Godfathers of the Epic Metal scene Manowar have already welcomed many descendants and have gained a new customer with Stormburner, that’s for sure. Anthematically you will not be short of anything, for example check ‘Ragnarök’ and ‘Men At Arms’. Headbangers are reminded to pay extra attention to both ‘We Burn’ and ‘Eye Of The Storm’. With ‘Ode To War’ the pure epic feeling reappears!
I want to repeat it clearly that this is not just about a band that imitates Manowar because that would be totally unjustified. Stormburner is a real good formation influenced by the ‘Kings Of Metal’, nothing more-nothing less. There is enough musical talent within the fold to lead a life of their own. Fanatics of Epic Heavy Metal as well as Power/Speed Metal and Traditional Metal could add value to their precious metal collection with “Shadow Rising”
You won’t be disappointed at all !
Review by Stefan
Read the review at Metal to Infinty