Brainstorm - Scary Creatures

Brainstorm - Scary Creatures

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(CD, AFM Records, 2016)

BRAINSTORM is one of those bands which have consistency in their songwriting but have never managed to make it really big. And that’s a big shame if you’d ask me because one quick glance over the band’s back-catalogue is enough to convince you of the Germans high-quality music-making. Anyway, I have to admit that even though “Scary Creatures” is BRAINSTORM LP number eleven and the band has been around for almost two decades, I still have difficulties accepting their German ancestry because their music has a clear (at least for me) US Power Metal bearing and I will elaborate on this, so keep reading...

The rather creepy intro quickly passes the baton to the BRAINSTORM characteristic sound that kicks the door down with a solid rhythm and, on top of everything, Andy B. Franck’s trademark singing. Yeah, those multiple vocal harmonies and the way they are mixed is the epitome of the band’s sound. And then, the guitar leads put the icing on this Power Metal cake passing all the quality control checks with flying colors. I mean, without sounding cheesy or predictable BRAINSTORM mix the heaviness of their German roots (call me Teutonic Metal) with an arsenal of riffs and humming along melodies. Serving the album’s title, the music carries a nice darkness as if there are indeed some creepy creatures, lurking in every dark corner waiting to crab you at the first given chance. The sound effects and the minimal keyboards help a lot on building in this atmosphere and I think in the end they add some more heaviness. Of course, some of the praise is due for the production and especially for the way it handles the bass in the ultra-catchy “We Are…” where not lip-singing the chorus is a battle that you’re bound to lose. “Where Angels” is cut from the same dark-atmosphere cloth but this time the vocals are responsible to give you the creeps; just listen closely to the ‘evil’ backing vocals to understand what I am talking about. By the way, the chorus will stick to mind like crazy-glue and in case you have no idea what BRAINSTORM are all about this is a great point of references.

The guitars are on the spotlight during the singing-along “Twisted Ways” and in “Scars In Your Eyes” which also throws some nice double-bass drumming for your headbanging pleasure. Again, the dark atmosphere that in times comes in the forefront makes a ton of a difference, giving the impression that there is some short of a concept running in the background. In this one, Andy B. Franck’s high pitched singing reminded me of Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin and his JAG PANZER tours of duty ringing once more the US Power Metal bell. The album closes on a high note having more keyboards (there are almost some Hammond-like tunes in the background) that blend perfectly with the classic Heavy Metal lead guitars setting the proper stage for Andy who is changing singing pitch like it’s the easiest thing to do.

To be honest, I was not expecting something less than great from BRAINSTORM who have become a reliable Power Metal source but lack of the recognition they deserved. I hope “Scary Creatures” will change this (I know it’s difficult during this album-saturated market) and - why not? - bring them on this side of the big pond. I’d say 2016 is on a great start.

9/10 


Links:

www.Brainstorm-web.Net
www.Facebook.Com/OfficialBrainstorm


Tracklist:

01. The World To See
02. How Much Can You Take
03. We Are...
04. Where Angels Dream
05. Scary Creatures
06. Twisted Ways
07. Caressed By The Blackness
08. Scars In Your Eyes
09. Take Me To The Never
10. Sky Among The Clouds


Lineup:

Andy B. Franck - Vocals
Torsten Ihlenfeld - Guitar
Milan Loncaric - Guitar
Antonio Ieva - Bass
Dieter Bernert - Drums