|Review: Brainstorm - Downburst|
Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 2008
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal
Review online: February 12, 2009
Reviewed by: 4th Horseman
Rated 3.72/5 (74.4%) (25 Votes)
Seventh time is a charm it seems. Brainstorm have been on every Power Metal fan's radar since their early days. But each time, this band never fully spread its wings despite demonstrating — in short bursts — just how big their reach can be. Downburst too, in many ways does the same thing. But it's their best album in years, perhaps ever. It is definitely the most consistent Brainstorm release to date. Every track is enjoyable and they've trimmed the fat down to only the good stuff.
Brainstorm have packed in some big choruses here along with hammering riffs that only the German Power Metallers know how to do. There is a keyboard presence here, which by and large is used quite tastefully and it's not the 'keyboardy' kind of "Power Metal" from Italy that we're talking about here. The highlight of the album though, by a long-shot, is the masterful vocal work of Andy Franck. He's never sounded better and his performance drives each track on here from good to great.
On previous releases, Brainstorm would deliver two or three good numbers and then completely run out of steam. Here, they're pumped and keep the album strong all the way through, and with more punch added in there with monstrous tracks like "Stained with Sin", "Redemption in your Eyes" and "Protect me from myself". Even the slow number - "End in Sorrow" — keeps it heavy and is a total pleaser.
Brainstorm have previously done better tracks than the best ones from here. But this album is superior overall than what they have offered us in the past. Anyone who prefers riff-driven, mid-paced Power Metal would not want to let this one slip through.
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