Sword waving German Vikings STORMWARRIOR is back with album number four. True heavy metal and Nordic mythology have served STORMWARRIOR well. Founder Lars Ramke´s vision has paid off and sent them on the road to stardom, via festivals like Wacken Open Air and Motala Metal festival. Success and success again, have they delivered a successor to “Heading Northe”, or have they excelled?
Nevertheless this is a concept album of sorts, sporting eleven metal bullets.
The opening intro “… og Hammeren Häves till Slag” is your typical overblown fantasy evolving shortie. The title track on the other hand is a sight for sore RUNNING WILD mourning eyes. STORMWARRIOR move for the Viking chief position with all swords in the air. Clocking in precisely under five minutes it is more than sufficient in all departments. They display their sense of melody and catchy refrains all over the album, with touches of their aforementioned countrymen plus the likes of IRON MAIDEN and MANOWAR. Unfortunately the sense of ridicule from the latter is here too, but I get the feeling that Lars, vocals/guitars, Alex Guth, guitar, Yenz Leonhardt, bass and vocals, and Hendrik Thiesbrummel, drums, are prepared to stand tall. The one I can´t quite come to terms with is “The Returne”. I swear I have heard it before, but I can´t come up with who made that song previously right now. I might add that there might not be anything new or outstandingly creatively about STORMWARRIOR. That is the magic! My heart lies with the epic mid-paced tracks though. Not that I find the others inferior but “Wolven Nights”, “The Valkyries Call” and album uber-epic “And Northern Steele Remaineth” all strike a special cord with me. The headbanging-friendly songs, the refrains, the sense of melody and the slightly amusing fact that there were never any Vikings in Germany all makes for the finest mark in my book, long live STORMWARRIOR!
... Og Hammeren Häves till Slag...
The Ride of Asgard
Heirs to the Fighte
Bloode to Bloode
Fyre & Ice
The Valkyries Call
And Northern Steele Remaineth