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BRAINSTORM Wall of Skulls

By Alex Yarborough, Orlando Contributor
Thursday, September 9, 2021 @ 12:06 AM


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BRAINSTORM
Wall of Skulls

2021 AFM Records




BRAINSTORM – now celebrating their 32nd year – is arguably the most consistent band in power metal. Wall of Skulls, the band’s 13th studio album, builds off the momentum generated by their previous release, Midnight Ghost (2018). Yet Wall of Skulls is in fact a new beast, because, as singer Andy B. Franck puts it: “Walls Of Skulls is definitely not Midnight Ghost 2.0, but another and very obvious step in the evolution of our music.” Franck is once again joined by guitarists Torsten Ihlefeld and Milan Loncaric, bassist Antonio Ieva and drummer Dieter Bernert.

Wall of Skulls opens with the gothic and appropriately titled “Chamber Thirteen”, the band’s first instrumental intro since the Metus Mortis album 20 years ago. It sets up “Where Ravens Fly”, showcasing the robust music and anthemic melodies BRAINSTORM are known for. Andy’s lead vocals sound great here, as well as the band’s backing vocals. Check out the eerie opening for mid-tempo track “Solitude”. The passionate vocal from Andy and organ captures another approach BRAINSTORM are known for. “Escape The Silence” is a very good track, featuring fantastic riffs from Torsten and Milan, and Dieter’s trademark powerhouse drumming. Guest vocals on the track are provided by Peavy Wagner of RAGE. View the video on KNAC.COM HERE. The following track, “Turn Off The Light” became an immediate favorite of mine. The song features guest vocals from Seeb Levermann of ORDEN OGAN (who is also producer of the album). View the performance video on KNAC.COM HERE. “Glory Disappears” is the ballad, and it’s a good one, with a distinctly catchy chorus. I dig Antonio’s bass work on this song as well. “My Dystopia” returns to fiery uptempo power metal, and I find myself singing along with this song easily. This could be a potential single release. “End Of My Innocence” and “Holding On” are reliable mid-tempo tracks, while “Stigmatized (Shadows Fall)” is speed metal. Album closer “I, The Deceiver” is a nice rocker with an infectious chorus and melodic guitar work. Bonus track “Cold Embrace” has a massive amount of gang vocals and is well worth checking out.

In my opinion, Wall of Skulls ranks highly among the best of what BRAINSTORM has ever produced. The band has crafted numerous classic tracks that add to their arsenal. The production by Seeb Levermann works perfectly. The exceptional cover artwork was once again contributed by Gyula Havancsak. The album is set to be released on September 17th. To the band I say: great work! Please find a way to make it back to America to bless us with your power metal in a live setting again. Wall of Skulls is available in transparent red vinyl, limited edition CD with blu-ray, and a limited edition box set.

5.0 Out Of 5.0


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