- Album Reviews

Stormwarrior – Thunder & Steele

Stormwarrior is a speed metal band from Germany that was formed in 1998 by vocalist and guitar player Lars Ramcke and drummer Andre Schumann, adding later in the same year guitarist Scott Bolter and bass player Tim Zienert. The members of Stormwarrior draw their musical influences from the 80’s heavy metal scene including such fellow German bands as Helloween and Running Wild. My first experience seeing Stormwarrior live was at the prestigious ProgPower USA festival in Atlanta, Georgia in 2010. I was impressed by the old school energy that the band brought to the stage and their music struck a chord with my inner 80’s metalhead (okay, so maybe my 80’s metalhead isn’t really that much of a secret!)

Their debut full length album Stormwarrior, released in 2002, and their 2004 follow up Northern Rage were both produced by Kai Hansen of Helloween and Gamma Ray fame who also contributed vocal and guitar performances on some songs. Much of Stormwarrior’s lyrical content deals with the very metal topic of Vikings and related themes.
Finally, the fifth album of Northern Germany’s premiere metal warriors is ready to be unleashed upon the metal masses. Returning to traditional values, they went back to producer Piet Sielck, who had already produced the hit album Heading Northe (2008). The result will be released on January 24, 2014. The album begins with the anthemic title track Thunder & Steele, the band slams their collective foot on the gas and never look back cruising through high octane speed metal in the vein of classic Helloween (before they became a generic power metal band) Running Wild, and Gamma Ray. Song after song of relentless metal glory with thunderous drums and crushing speedy riffs with song titles such as Metal Avenger, Ironborn, and Steel Crusader (my personal favorite on the album) will have the listener banging their heads in unison. There are no ballads or fifteen minute prog opuses, just meat and potatoes old school speed metal. The album cruises along quickly with only 9 tracks but every track is a solid slab of metal. Metal fans will rejoice at songs celebrating the majesty of melodic metal on Fyres In The Night and Die By The Hammer. If you’re looking for deep meaning and introspective themes you’ve come to the wrong place. The band excels at performing high energy metal anthems with power and might meant for fans of true metal. A band like the once great Manowar could learn a lesson from Stormwarrior on how to write and play metal songs with passion. Recommended for metal fans who enjoy their metal with patch covered jean jackets, bullet belts, and Flying V guitars.

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