Stormhold - Salvation

Stormhold - Salvation

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(CD, Pure Steel Records, 2017)

New Swedish Power Metal titans STORMHOLD crash the scene with their second album titled “Salvation”. There's not a good refill with this type of music in Sweden anymore, so when something shows up and shows to be both good and unique, I’m a happy camper. I mean, Power Metal is Power Metal and STORMHOLD is following that blueprint, so with that being said, there are no massive surprises with “Salvation”.

There are speedy riffs and cool harmony guitar parts, performed flawlessly by Jonas Nilsson and Jakob Morhed. And all is topped off with powerful and yet melodic vocals by Filip Peterson. Even if this, on paper, is as standard STORMHOLD doesn't sound like all other bands. There is a lot of finesse and whit in their songwriting. They have the ability to write strong and sticky chorus-lines which they show off from the start with opening “Heart Of A Hero”. It gets even better with the moody “Black Death” which follows. The lead-heavy riffs with Filip's vocals added on to it make me reach for the volume-control. There's an edge to both the music and vocals that make it mean and filthy, that's a thing I miss in most modern Power Metal. STORMHOLD nails it and it sound fantastic.

The IRON MAIDEN trademark rhythm part in “Exile” was one of the first things that got stuck. Spinning “Salvation” for the first time I got a little annoyed with it but apart from the initial rhythm and tempo-change nothing else sounds like the Englishmen (well, the melody-guitar and bass arrangement towards the end...) and as soon as I realized that it worked. They shall also get kudos for making this instrumental track interesting from start to end.

And then, to put an acoustic ballad on the record requires courage, it works as well here as “The Bard Song - In The Forest” does from BLIND GUARDIAN's masterpiece “Somewhere Far Beyond”. I really enjoy the folksy feel, again the melody in the vocal line is carrying the whole thing. My favorite though is speedy “We March”; I love when vocals gets so high-pitched that it almost breaks, this too is a rash move in these times. I mean, it's not uncommon that weeks of the studio-time is spent on editing drums to make sure everything is right on the beat and the rest is so compressed everything is completely dead in the end. This old school sound STORMHOLD has on “Salvation” is so much more appealing and it makes the music vibrant and fanciful.

It had been quite some time since a new Swedish band charmed me like this, most of it is very good but very little feels unique. Even if there are elements in STORMHOLD's music referring to the heroes in the genre they still keep it all very interesting and for most of the time they have their unique touch. I like it!

8/10


Links:

www.Stormhold.Se
www.FaceBook.Com/Stormhold.Swe
www.Twitter.Com/StormholdSWE


Tracklist:

01. Heart Of A Hero
02. Black Death
03. The Stranger
04. Exile
05. Path Of No Return
06. God's Crusade
07. Edge Of The World
08. We March
09. We'll Never Fall


Lineup:

Filip Peterson - Vocals
Jonas Nilsson - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jakob Morhed - Guitar
Jan Ekberg - Bass, Backing Vocals
Robin Hermansson - Drums