|Review: Brainstorm - Scary Creatures|
Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2016
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: January 20, 2016
Reviewed by: Bruno Medeiros
Following the monster album that was Firesoul, Andy B. Franck (vocals), Dieter Bernert (drums), Antonio Ieva (bass) and the dynamic-duo Milan Loncaric and Torsten Ihlenfeld (guitars) grace us with their 11th studio effort. Having a near-perfect run since the beginning, with just a few bumps along the way (I'm looking at you, Liquid Monster and Memorial Roots) and releasing titans such as Ambiguity, Metus Mortis and Soul Temptation, Scary Creatures has big shoes to fill, so when I heard of a new album by Brainstorm I was very excited. So, is this a worthy follow-up to the already great Firesoul?
The album kicks in with "The World to See" with a classic Brainstorm introduction and then exploding into a classic Brainstorm tune, with powerful double-pedal drumming and heavy riffs. Although with a faster tempo, the chorus slows the song a little and resembles songs like "Blind Suffering". In fact, this album has a lot of elements from Metus Mortis, which is a good thing. Follow-up "How Much Can You Take" has a heavy approach and a lot of punch, with a characteristic choir full of anger. The dishonor of weakest song here goes for "We Are", and although it rests below the average quality for the album, it is nevertheless a good and catchy tune, especially toward the end. "Where Angels Dream", "Caressed by the Blackness", "Take Me to the Never" and "Sky Among the Clouds" are classic Brainstorm tunes relying heavily on those characteristic choirs, more melodic choruses and by the inspired riffing of Loncaric and Ihlenfeld, with the latter being the least exciting of them. The title track does a good job justifying its name by joining a darker and menacing atmosphere with a masterful performance by Andy on vocals, but it's with "Twisted Ways" and "Scars In Your Eyes" that the band really shines. "Twisted Ways" has one of the best choruses Brainstorm has ever made, and while it's overly melodic by the band's standards it actually excels because of this, resulting in a near-masterpiece that explodes in its climax. "Scars in Your Eyes" shows the evil side of the album with a bombastic melody and a masterful solo. Speaking of which, the solos throughout the album are top notch with the right mix between virtuosity and heaviness. But it is Andy, once again, who steals the show; He hasn't lost a bit of the vocal power from his heydays and sounds even better than before.
Quoting a song from the same Brainstorm, Scary Creatures is an album with "Highs Without Lows". So, yeah, this is a worthy follow up to Firesoul. As the matter of fact, it surpassed the quality and maturity of its predecessor and turned into one of the best Brainstorm efforts ever. It is not often that we hear a Power Metal album that detaches itself from the sea of copies that floods the genre, and this needs to be recognized as such. Buy this, share this with your friends and show them that Power Metal is not all about dungeons, dragons, swords and keyboards. Trust me, Scary Creatures is one of the best albums in the genre of the last decade and most definitely the Power Metal album of 2016.
|Other related information on the site|
|Review: Ambiguity (reviewed by 4th Horseman)|
Review: Downburst (reviewed by 4th Horseman)
Review: Downburst (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Firesoul (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Liquid Monster (reviewed by 4th Horseman)
Review: Memorial Roots (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Memorial Roots (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Metus Mortis (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Midnight Ghost (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
Review: Midnight Ghost (reviewed by MetalMike)
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