|Review: Brainstorm - Memorial Roots|
Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2009
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: January 3, 2010
Reviewed by: MetalMike
German Power Metallers Brainstorm are back with their eighth full-length album entitled Memorial Roots. Firmly in the European Power Metal camp, Brainstorm has a winner here. Huge riffs, a massive bottom end courtesy of bassist Antonio Ieva, insanely catchy choruses and the omnipresent vocals of Andy B. Franck imbue Memorial Roots with infectious listenability. There has also been a noticeable improvement in songwriting since my last encounter with Brainstorm, that courtesy of 2005's Liquid Monster, and album with a few awesome tracks and several ho-hum affairs. Memorial Roots is a much more consistent effort. I really enjoy the more introspective nature of the lyrics, as well. Dealing with the darker side of human emotions, Franck delivers his messages with confidence and conviction.
Musically, Memorial Roots reminds me of a heavier, less keyboard-driven Silent Force. Brainstorm rely a lot less on double kicks this time around as well, which I normally find a detriment in my Power Metal. However, songs like the opener "Forsake What I Believe" and "The Conjunction of 7 Planets" are so much the better for taking the slow approach. The band is able to build the emotional tension much more effectively with some slow, chugging riffs and heavier-than-depleted-uranium bass work. It's almost reminiscent of early Dio. That isn't to say Brainstorm can't still put the pedal to the metal, as proven on "Shiver" and "Ahimsa." Both tracks simply burn. The highlight of Memorial Roots has to be "The Final Stages of Decay." With its 3rd person account of dying and its huge, Manowar-inspired chorus, this song is simply epic. Try and not bang your head when this one comes on.
Yup, I really like Memorial Roots. It is not blazing any new ground in the Power Metal field, but it is always a treat to hear the style done right. Impressed, I am. Recommended.
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