Brainstorm – On the Spur of the Moment (AFM Records)

Sunday, 24th March 2013
Rating: 8/10

Perhaps realizing that last year’s Memorial Roots wasn’t up to snuff, German metallers Brainstorm quickly bounced back into the studio to record On the Spur of the Moment, an album that is less of a fresh breath of air than it is a return to form. Andy B. Franck and co. have always held up the meat-and-potatoes end of the German metal spectrum quite well over the years and onOn the Spur of the Moment, they’re feasting…on a hearty portion of meat and potatoes. (Sorry, out of puns)

Never down with busting out run-of-the-mill Euro metal anthems, Brainstorm sticks to their strengths across this 10-song offering. Their mish-mash of American metal (think a less brutal Pantera), Judas Priest (think Painkiller) and Euro power metal (think of power metal that isn’t annoying) has coagulated nicely here, resulting in some razor-sharp cuts, including opener “Below the Line,” which has loads of bravado from Franck, as does “In These Walls.”

No real duds here, a stark contrast to Memorial Roots, so the speedy “Where Your Actions Lead You To Live” emerges as the standout cut, which is funny considering it’s the most traditional power metal song the band has produced to date. The same could be said for “No Saint – No Sinner,” which is the type of song Hammerfall would beg to write, if only their leather vests would let them.

Good to see Brainstorm rebound, as they’re the type of band German metal needs in order to maintain its straight face. With On the Spur of the Moment, the band puts the moves on us just like they did with Soul Temptation andLiquid Monster, and it works. We are charmed and all is right in the world of non-power, but powerful metal.

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