Review BRAINSTORM ‘Wall of Skulls’

Swabian power metal veterans Brainstorm used the pandemic months to work on their next studio album. Work is finished in the meantime and after facing a short delay, the album is ready to be released. ‘Wall of Skulls’ is the title of this eleven songs featuring power metal strike that shows the band in very good shape. Benefiting a lot of a very stable line-up, Brainstorm could maintain and evolve their sound over time, leading to this new sonic attack that challenges speakers and amplifiers.

Compared to some of the earlier releases, ‘Wall of Skulls’ is straight to the point. The quintet keep songs spot on and took away all unnecessary frills. What remains is the essence of heavy metal – heavy riffs, a good sense for melodies, excellent vocals and a thundering rhythm section with workhorse power. All this is represented by ‘Where Raves Fly’ that follows the cinematic intro ‘Chamber Thirteen’. The song has been revealed as single and is a great ambassador for the album. Songs like ‘End of Innocence’ and the roaring ‘Stigmatized’ are other examples for Brainstorm pushing the pedal to the metal.

Next to these pounding metal tracks, song like the anthemic ‘Solitude’ and the catchy ‘Glory Disappears’ contribute to a great flow. The full-stop of live shows due to the pandemic provided some extra time and Brainstorm wasn’t in a hurry when working on ‘Wall of Skulls’. There was time that could be spend on working on details and partly even pause the process to pick it up later again. Without losing focus the band kept the direction for the album and the punch of the record speaks for itself.

Something new for the band was the collaboration with two guests. Orden Ogan frontman Seb Levermann, who also produced ‘Wall of Skulls’, has a guest appearance on ‘Turn Off the Light’ while it is Rage main man Peavy Wagner who vocals add a new nuance to the typical Brainstorm sound on the stellar ‘Escape the Silence’.

‘Wall of Skulls’ is a highlight in the long history of the Swabian powerhouse. The focus is ‘power’. That is what the album provides from start to finish and there isn’t a weak spot or filler on this longplayer. Brainstorm are masters of their craft and that’s what they show clearly on ‘Wall of Skulls’. Better make sure that your neck muscles are trained since you need them for some solid headbanging while listening to these songs.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Chamber Thirteen
  2. Where Ravens Fly
  3. Solitude
  4. Escape The Silence
  5. Turn Off The Light
  6. Glory Disappears
  7. My Dystopia
  8. End Of My Innocence
  9. Stigmatized (Shadows Fall)
  10. Holding On
  11. I, The Deceiver

Label: AFM Records

Genre: Power Metal

Release Date EU: September 17th, 2021

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