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Review: Stormwarrior - Thunder & Steele
Thunder & Steele

Label: Massacre Records
Year released: 2014
Duration: 44:23
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: June 12, 2014
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Thunder & Steele

Rated 3.69/5 (73.75%) (16 Votes)

Thunder & Steele is full-length album #5 from Stormwarrior and is full-to-bursting with the things we've come to expect from these German Power/Speed Metal merchants. Crunchy riffs, double-kick drums, sweeping solos and sing-a-long choruses abound, all in the style of Helloween's Walls of Jericho. As always, the lyrics deal with warrior/Norse topics as titles like "Die By the Hammer" and "Ironborn" should make plain. Everything is played at a brisk pace, with the exception of the still-heavy "ballad" "Child of Fyre." If Stormwarrior's past albums have put a jump in your step, Thunder & Steele will likely repeat the experience, which is also the beef I have with the album. Sure, I love crunchy, Germanic Power Metal as much as the next guy, but as I was listening to Thunder & Steele all I kept hearing were the choruses to "Odinn's Warriors" and "Thy Last Fyre" from the Heavy Metal Fire EP. This album is an extremely "safe" release from Stormwarrior, one that varies not one iota from what they've done before. I'm not saying a band needs to completely change their formula every album and if Stormwarrior had really killed it in the songwriting department, Thunder & Steele would have been a winner, but as it stands, it is dangerously close to stagnation.

I don't want to make it sound like the album is no good because that would be untrue. Stormwarrior do speedy Power Metal very well and I would never shut this off if it came up on shuffle. What I am saying is that there isn't much, if anything, to separate Thunder & Steele from the band's other albums. I would like to hear them push the envelope a bit on the next album, if for no other reason than to give it some character that distinguishes it from prior releases. Thunder & Steele is solid, but you've heard it before.

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