Thunder & Steele by Stormwarrior (Massacre Records)
Stormwarrior has been pillaging the metal masses since 1998, providing classic albums that will make you want to take on the world at large. Thunder & Steele is their fifth glorious magnum opus, fist pumping heavy metal in the grand tradition of Helloween and Gamma Ray. With that being said, Stormwarrior has always been fiercely independent, displaying a vast amount of creativity and imagination – and in the year 2014, this German brigade of musicians is a sonic force of sheer power and intensity to be reckoned with.
The glorious fight commences with the dynamic title cut Thunder & Steele, packing a wallop with its spiraling choruses and supremely tight musicianship. The anthems rage on with the mighty strains of Metal Avenger followed by the expert sonic fencing of Sacred Blade. Ironborn then bursts into the picture with its triumphant refrains. Steelcrusader is a crushing heavy metal classic of the highest order, a track sure to mesmerize and intrigue the head banging masses.
Fyres In The Nighte ignites the senses with its epic soundscapes, followed by the towering assault to the senses entitled Die By The Hammer. Child Of Fyre heats up the recording with its roaring choruses igniting the night sky. One Will Survive then fills the listener with a pummeling sense of timeless adventure while the all-encompassing Servants Of Metal issues a fearless clarion call to the genre faithful all across the globe. “Hear my battle cry, I’m not afraid to die!” echoes throughout your speakers with a ferocious conviction.
The knights who inhabit the land of Stormwarrior present an absolutely thrilling performance, featuring the grand participation of Lars Ramcke on guitars and vocals, Alex Guth on guitar, Yenz Leonhardt on bass, and Jörg Uken on drums. Thunder & Steele was mixed and mastered with a skilled precision by Piet Sielck of Iron Savior fame while Felipe Machado Franco (Blind Guardian, Rhapsody Of Fire) contributed the fantastic cover art. 2014 may only be off and running, but it’s certainly not too early to proclaim Thunder & Steele by Stormwarrior as one of the most exhilarating metal releases of the year thus far.
(Review by Ken Morton)
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