Stormwarrior – Thunder & Steele (Massacre Records)Sunday, 13th April 2014
Heavy metal has to be the only genre where it’s common to hear songs specifically about the genre itself, exalting its own name and rattling the sabers to rally to its cause. And we love that, because it’s fuckin’ metal! But you know what’s more metal than metal? Fuckin’ steel!
Indeed steel plays an important role in Thunder & Steele because, duh. It’s an album totally teeming with all of the cliché metal-isms that accompany many works in the heavy/power metal genres and those which carry the flag of “true heavy metal” forward in the charge against the “false.” And all this is perfectly fine. Why’s that you ask? Well, dear sir or madam, because it fuckin’ rips is why.
Pretty much balls-out the whole time, this speed/power metal outfit hailing from Hamburg are keeping things true, on this, their fifth full-length album since 2002. Vocalist Lars Ramcke is also a guitarist (which is always awesome) and his semi-raspy voice carries the message with impressive clarity. Melody abounds on Thunder & Steele and Ramcke leads the battle cry, with hooks that beg for audience participation. Memorable choruses (chorii?) meld with heroic guitar leads, appropriate lyrics, good guitar solos and riffing, and adept, charging rhythms that are smelted into pretty much flawless material (originality aside). Thunder & Steele really has everything that a fan of this type of metal will enjoy, nothing out of place (or out of the ordinary).
With regards to standout tracks, choosing one is a bit futile, as really, every song is good, Stormwarrior nobly slaying any notions of filler tracks. It’s all good, metal brethren. What this is, at its heart, is absolutely German. In the realm of countrymen Grave Digger meeting Iron Savior, perhaps, there is something about Deutschland that produces world-beating power and heavy metal. Something in the water, perhaps? Maybe it’s the Bier. At any rate, check out “Ironborn” and you’ll know what I mean.