Brainstorm – Wall Of Skulls

Brainstorm
Wall Of Skulls
AFM Records
September 17, 2021
Playing time: 44:45 (49:54 inkl. Bonus)

It’s hard to imagine the German metal scene without Brainstorm from Baden-Württemberg. The band has been active since 1989. It took them nine years to record their first album, “Hungry”. Before that, only a few demos were released. But since then, twelve albums have been released. Thus “Wall Of Skulls” is album number thirteen. This prime number is considered both an unlucky number and a lucky number. Now we have to decide what this number means for the album. The conditions are actually not bad. The line-up has been stable for years. The album was produced by Seeb Levermann (Orden Ogan) at Greenman Studios. You don’t have to be a prophet to predict that this album will also enter the Top 100, probably even the Top 50 of the album charts.

At the beginning, the probably unavoidable intro “Chamber Thirteen” resounds, almost two minutes long. Sacred chants can be heard, accompanied by the low tones of the Hammond. Towards the end, drums and guitars follow. I don’t know if that’s necessary. But without any transition it becomes Heavy Metal with “Where Ravens Fly”. And singer Andy B. Frank proves that he belongs to the best of his guild. Very good Power Metal. In “Solitude” the sound is first underpinned by organ sounds, before the guitarists hit us here with midtempo riffs. And of course, the guitar solo must not be missing. You know that voice, I say to myself while listening to “Escape The Silence”. Yes, of course, Rage mastermind Peavy Wagner. And of course, this song is also heavier. Right after that, Seeb Levermann (Orden Ogan), a second guest singer, can be heard. This makes “Turn Off The Light” a highlight of the album, which is also rounded off by outstanding guitar hooks and solos. Instead, the excellent Metal anthem “Glory Disappears” starts off a little quieter. This song has hit potential and probably offers one of Andy’s best vocal performances. On the other hand, Brainstorm really go for it again with “My Dystopia”. The driving double bass provides a lot of pressure in combination with the pumping bass and the fast riffs. The midtempo stomper “End Of My Innocence” contains some ballad-like passages. Here, both guitarists can put themselves in the limelight again very well. “Stigmatised (Shadows Fall)” is then in the wake of “My Dystopia”. And like this song, it should be one of the absolute hits at live gigs. The regular finale is provided by “Holding On” and “I, The Deceiver”. Two thrilling Power Metal hymns that simply belong on this album. In my album promo, the bonus song “Cold Embrace” is the crowning finale.

It would be like hell if “Wall Of Skulls” didn’t play its way into the hearts of the Metal fans. Apart from the intro, which in my opinion is dispensable, Brainstorm deliver ten strong metal songs. So, is the number thirteen a lucky number here? I think so.

Brainstorm – Glory Disappears (Official Music Video): https://youtu.be/2OCex67ppgc

Lineup:

Andy B. Franck – Vocals
Torsten Ihlenfeld – Guitars
Milan Loncaric – Guitars
Antonio Ieva – Bass
Dieter Bernert – Drums

Track list:

  • Chamber Thirteen
  • Where Ravens Fly
  • Solitude
  • Escape The Silence
  • Turn Off The Light
  • Glory Disappears
  • My Dystopia
  • End Of My Innocence
  • Stigmatized (Shadows Fall)
  • Holding On
  • I, The Deceiver
  • Cold Embrace (Ltd. Ed. Bonus Track)
  • 8/10
    Album - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Cover-Art - 8/10
  • 9/10
    Song-Writing - 9/10
8.3/10
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