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brainstorm onthespurofthemoment
Artist: Brainstorm
Title: On The Spur Of The Moment
Genre: Power Metal
Release Date: 30th September 2011
Label: AFM Records


Album Review

‘On The Spur Of The Moment’ is BRAINSTORM’s ninth full length album to date. It is a more mature, explosive effort compared to the previously rushed ‘Memorial Roots,’ which barely came out a year after the release before that. Good releases take more than a year to craft, and ‘On The Spur…’ shows that through melodic hooks and catchy, pummeling riffs combined with soaring vocals and choruses. For those that have never heard this band before, BRAINSTORM will appeal to those who are fans of bands that range from QUEENSRYCHE to SENTENCED to CIRCLE II CIRCLE. As a result, fans should expect a guitar heavy album with echoing vocal work and anthem-like songs without the oversaturation of keyboards or sampling to help make the music more theatrical than it really is. Of course, the album does include a keyboard melody here and there such as on ‘In These Walls’, which serves as the album ballad, so to speak. In contrast, the opening track ‘Below The Line’ features harder rhythms after a slow, depressing opening, while still retaining a sense of melody. Unlike most power metal that can typically just tear right through a listener by being solo based, BRAINSTORM aim more for chugging riffs that are even spaced, sometimes even slowed down such as during the chorus, in order to make an effective track.

‘Dark Life’ takes a bit of a touch towards groove metal, which is a bit of a surprise, especially when those who are familiar with THROWDOWN may recognize it as the exact same opening riff from the song ‘Black Vatican’ from the album ‘Deathless’. BRAINSTORM try to use their vocal harmonization during the chorus to make it their own, but the opening riffs are forever going to be stuck in listeners’ heads and promoting questions about liability. ‘No Sinner-No Saint’ has an almost operatic touch to it the way the chorus is layered to make it seem like the vocalist has more than one tone, even though it is the other band members backing him up. Listeners can instantly tell the difference with the higher pitches between vocalists, but the effect makes the chorus just downright impressive. There is even a bit of flute harmonics involved. Another thing to note with BRAINSTORM is that their chorus lyrical development isn’t always the strongest; usually it will repeat itself over and over when it comes to a track like ‘Where Your Actions Lead You To Live’. The music is well constructed and very upbeat, making it a concert staple at live shows that the crowd can really get into, but it still leaves a lot to be desired intellectually. Thankfully, there is ‘My Own Hell’, which is most dynamic track of all due to how the band opts more for a variation of spoken word parts amongst the singing to give it a dramatic, storytelling atmosphere, on top of a backing orchestral atmosphere.

Compared to ‘Memorial Roots’, ‘On The Spur…’ is a richer effort that shows how the band took time to craft a new, innovative story while sticking to their roots that made them so successful as far back as in 1997. The band doesn’t really do anything new as far as music goes; what one has heard on an album like ‘Ambiguity’ is probably about the same on this album. The only questionable aspect of this album is the “borrowed” riff from THROWDOWN and whether it really fits with the music. While it is heavy metal based, the music does not really resonate well with BRAINSTORM’S melodic sections. Ultimately, on a discography spectrum, ‘On The Spur…’ is a rich effort that will appease most heavy metal fans and those of power metal who are seeking a distraction from all the gothic/ symphonic power metal bands that take the theatrical aspects a bit too seriously. This is not the best album by BRAINSTORM, but it’s definitely worth a listen.


Tracklist

01. Below The Line - 6:41
02. In The Blink Of An Eye - 4:34
03. Temple Of Stone - 3:28
04. In These Walls - 5:24
05. Still Insane - 3:53
06. Dark Life - 4:13
07. No Saint - No Sinner - 5:30
08. Where Your Actions Lead You To Live - 3:33
09. A Life On Hold - 3:11
10. My Own Hell - 5:29


Line-up

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


Website

http://www.brainstorm-web.-net


Cover Picture

brainstorm onthespurofthemoment


Rating

Music: 7
Sound: 6
Total: 6.5 / 10


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