Concept albums are not uncommon in heavy metal. Some band thrive on them. For their fifth album Ireland's Stormzone offers their own concept album, Seven Sins. Your first thought is that album would be about the Biblical seven deadly sins. Well, sort of. There's a song of the same name. But the story of the album, according to press material, is quite different. It revolves around a traveling troupe of misfits led by Dr. Dealer and assisted by his lovely but deadly assistant Bathsheba. Their intent is to rescue abused, rejected, and otherwise marginalized children from their abusive parents. These parents are then inflicted with justice from Bathsheba That's it in a nutshell. I'm guessing that having the lyrics in front of you will help you better understand both the concept and inclusion of the seven sins.
Otherwise, musically, Stormzone delivers some rather strong classic melodic heavy metal, straight out of the NWoBHM tradition. It makes sense as they were born out of an Iron Maiden tribute band. All this means is that the brisk riffage, rumbling rhythm section, and soaring guitar solos are wrapped up in harmony, melody, and groove. Much of the same is led by John "Harv" Harbinson strong, clear and clean, vocal arrangements. While emphatic and direct, Harbinson clearly values melody in his voice. Then the riffs and chord structure add also to the same. Yeah, Steve Moore delivers riffs from sleek and slippery to heavy and forceful, but harmony and melody inform everything.
As for the song, those who like this classic genre will enjoy the whole, but also the variety. There's some straight up galloping power metal with songs like Abandoned Souls or I Know Your Pain, both hard charging. Something more akin to the blunt force trauma of heavier metal comes with Your Time Has Come. The riffs and rhythm section are thick and deliberate. Yet this is also a song where the melody and harmony of the vocal arrangements temper the song. And the guitar solo just kills. Back in the day, meaning the mid Eighties, when we went to see metal bands in small clubs, we had a saying, "Beware of songs that start slow or quietly." Why? Because the usually rip open and kick your ass with some fine melodic heavy metal. Special Brew and Born of the Damned do just that. A bit of lighter guitar to start, only to lead into a thorough metal jam. One thing you won't find here is a heavy metal ballad. Excepting those quieter starts, Stormzone doesn't mellow out one bit.
Hey. It's all good. Maybe a little, but pretty fandamntastic. This is my first experience with Stormzone, and I'm more than a little impressed. Strong musicianship. Good songwriting. Both classic and entertaining melodic heavy metal. What's not to like? Recommended.
This is my first experience with Stormzone, and I'm more than a little impressed. Strong musicianship. Good songwriting. Both classic and entertaining melodic heavy metal. What's not to like? Recommended.
You might be surprised when I say that some weeks the music I consider for review is so predictable to be merely mundane. And then I have to find words to say about it. I'm not necessarily looking for something ... [ Read More ]