Review – Stormburner – “Shadow Rising” from Empire Zone Magazine (9/10)


There are records that just because of the cover already make it worth giving a listen. Other times the recommendations of a radio program make you discover new and large groups and, in this case, both the first and second options have had an effect on me.

First, I followed the recommendation of The Eighth Day, which I listen to regularly, and where they played a song by a Swedish group that made me open my eyes and ears, because it seemed brutal. And after searching for his name, I discovered the cover, which seemed amazing to me and, entering the Stormburner world, every time I listen to it I like it more.
Too bad I discovered it at the beginning of 2020 because if I hadn’t entered my top of 2019 in its own right. Stormburner is a Swedish band formed in 2016 and this ‘Shadow Rising’ is their debut album.

The band is made up of Micke Stark on vocals, Tommi Korkeämäki and Mats Hedström on guitars, Stefan Essmyren on drums and Tommy Jee on bass. Sublime work of the five, but especially Micke Star, who is sometimes more “manowar” than Eric Adams himself.
Ten songs and approximately fifty minutes of pure heavy metal, without concessions, direct and forceful, that leaves you breathless if you like the genre; otherwise you will find it very boring.
The cover makes it clear what you are going to find inside since a warrior riding a Drakkar from Viking mythology will not be a record of peace or love … and it has also been made by Ken Kelly, regular cover artist of Manowar …
The album begins with «We Burn» and as Manowar themselves would say “blow your speakers”. Direct song to the jugular, an explosion of pure heavy metal that destroys your soul, reaches the fiber and makes you ask for ” more and more “. The vocal work is sublime, the guitars are forceful and sharp, the double bass drum sweeps you and the bass hits your chest to make your heart pop. And the best thing is that it is the general tone of the album. 100% heavy metal.

In “Metal in the night” you want to take a motorcycle and go any road in search of a concert. Ideal for concert, with the fists raised in the chorus. Powerful riffs and galloping bass in musical ecstasy.
The song that gives the album its title, “Shadow Rising” is one of my favorites, due to the rhythm of the guitars, forceful, but because of the chorus, which seems brutal to me as well as catchy and I can’t remove from the head. Here you begin to see that Micke drinks from Eric Adams’ school because he has almost impossible highs in some passages of the theme that make your hair stand on end.
“Demon Fire” is a deceiving song because it starts with an acoustic guitar that could make you think it is a ballad, but of that, there is no truce here. The acoustic guitar gives way to a dense halftime that destroys your head following its rhythm and where Micke almost becomes Eric Adams … what a way to get to the treble! As the refrain says, ” ascending from hell “. This theme transports you from hell to metal heaven.
“Ragnarok” is the next song, and there is no going back. Either you love the group or you hate it. They don’t do or discover anything new but they are fucking good. At a galloping pace it makes you evoke wars on horseback and the theme of the end of the world as predicted in Ragnarok (according to Nordic mythology) is wonderful. As if that weren’t enough, the central bridge slows down but Micke’s highs rise in an exponential way that could make you be kicked out of any neighborhood if you listen to it too loud. Another suitable chorus ” fighting the war of the gods ” True metal!
“Men at arms” will be another anthem for future concerts with double butt bass, almost impossible highs, sharp rhythms that make you move your neck non-stop and super catchy choruses. ” We are brothers fighting forever, we are brothers diyng together .”
“Eye of the storm” is another whip of pure heavy metal but here is the only flaw on the album. The initial riff is identical to Helloween’s ‘Better than raw’ ‘Push’. Otherwise it is another theme.
“Into the storm” is a somewhat calmer song but it is not half time either. It does not lose strength and Micke’s vocal variety is outstanding, and the choruses with high pitched voices and interwoven bass are very remarkable.
“Rune of the Dead” is more of a halftime, but with an epic, especially in the choruses, overwhelming. The screams are creepy. The theme perhaps less heavy metal and more focused on epic metal.
And to finish “Ode to war” which is also a half-time, even slower, but with the epic on the surface. Perhaps this is where I am most reminded of Manowar. Dense, epic and true. It is the theme that every lover of the genre wants in a heavy metal album.

In short, it is a great album from start to finish, but beware, only for true metal lovers. Otherwise, by the second cut you will have removed the disc from the player. If you like you will hit the repeat over and over again.
Join the best of 2020 in your own right, at least for one server.


Read the full review at Empire Zone Magazine (In Spanish)