Out of my last four reviews, three were 5/5 and one was a 4,5/5. So I thought it would only be therapeutical to review a weaker album. So I mentally racked up my CD collection and I came up with Stormhammer’s second album, Cold Desert Moon
. This was one of those albums I bought at mid-price, after I had read a very good review on it on a local magazine; well, all I can say is that sometimes reviewers are wrong.
Stormhammer are a German power metal ensemble whose debut album achieved little to no success. A weak singer and unfocused songwriting were the main flaws attributed to that album, so for their sophomore effort the group decided to switch vocalists and brought in Tommi Lion, formerly of Drifter. Unfortunately, this change did not work out for the best: Tommi’s voice is irritating and after a while you just want him to shut the hell up, so you don’t have to listen to his nasal pitch anymore. As for the other musicians, they play out their roles fairly enough, but are by no means virtuosos.
Yet, the musicianship is the lesser of this album’s flaws. The songwriting is an even bigger problem. Painfully generic and still completely unfocused, it gathers up all sorts of influences but sticks with none. As a case in point, the initial track Sinner’s Soul
is a thumping power metal anthem in the vein of Stratovarius, while The Law
is pure Seventh Son
-era Maiden, and Breach Of Faith
is a prog-power song in the vein of Queensr˙che or Savatage. See the problem? Ironically, these three songs end up being the most interesting and memorable moments of the album. That’s right: the album has more than a dozen tracks, yet the listener’s interest wanes after the first four. The reason? Complete absence of choruses. After a while, the entire album starts to sound like a mere composite of churning guitars, mid-tempo drums, shredding solos and irritating vocals. By the time it reaches its halfway point, you’ll be switching off your CD player and reaching for any other CD in your collection.
But wait! There’s more!! As if the two aforementioned flaws weren’t bad enough, the production stinks. The guitars sound strange, the bass is inaudible and Tommi’s voice, already annoying per se
, seems to be covered in a halo of purple mist (by the way, so does the entire album. Too…much…purple…can’t…make…out…lyrics…), which makes it even more
So you get the drift – this album is beyond all redemption. Stormhammer should really reconsider their future as a band, because after two albums, they still haven’t quite found the path of musical quality. They say third time’s the charm; who knows? All I know for sure right now is I’m sorry I spend eight euros (that’s about ten dollars, folks) on this piece of trite.
• A couple of interesting tracks at the beggining
• Production values
• Excessively dark artwork
• They had to solve the problems the first album had, and didn’t.
Breach Of Faith
FINAL RECCOMENDATION: Don’t waste your money…