|Review: Brainstorm - Firesoul|
Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2014
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: April 26, 2014
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Firesoul is the 10th studio album from long-running German Power Metal band Brainstorm and it continues to cement their reputation for releasing quality music. I've found them to be a little up and down over the years with 2009's Memorial Roots falling in the "up" category and 2011's On the Spur of the Moment in the "down." I would put Firesoul firmly in the "up" category and it might be the best album I've heard from these guys since I started listening with 2005's Liquid Monster.
We continue to get the band's crunchy, propulsive guitar work that is lightly tinged with keys that round out the sound but never rob it of its thundering impact. Andy B. Franck is one of the best Power Metal singers in the business and his power and range are on full display. Most of the songs are typical for Brainstorm, which is sure to please long-time fans, as the band doesn't stray too far from their winning formula, yet they still manage to sound fresh (quality songwriting will do that for a band). There are a few touches that are indicative of a band whose musical sensibilities are not stagnating but are continually improving. Two of the best tracks, "Entering Solitude" and "Recall the Real," are bridged by an almost Gregorian chant-style vocal from Franck and since both songs deal with inner struggles, the contemplative nature of religious choirs couldn't be more appropriate. The keyboards are a little more front and center on album closer "...And I Wonder" and, again, serve to deepen the atmosphere surrounding a soul in search of something. "Firesoul," "Descendents of the Fire" and "The Chosen" are Brainstorm ass-kickers.
If you've been a Brainstorm fan, you'll be mighty pleased with Firesoul. If not, now is the time to find out what you've been missing.
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