To get my feet wet here, I decided to review a few albums that may not be new, but came out in the latter half of 2011 and haven’t appeared on TDM. First up is Brainstorm’s On the Spur of the Moment. Quite appropriate considering the album cover, right?
Brainstorm returned in the fall of 2011 with album number 9, On the Spur of the Moment, an offering that does not deviate from their standard fare of German power metal. Compared to their previous album, Memorial Roots, this album is a noticeable improvement. Andy Franck and company have created a good Brainstorm album, not the best nor worst of their 15 or so years of recording. But for me, average Brainstorm is still pretty good.
The boys kick off On the Spur of the Moment with Below the Line, a slow to mid-tempo song much like on Memorial Roots. I frankly don’t like songs like this to start an album. Something much more energetic (and faster) would lend to better setting the tone for a power metal album. I think they made a mistake with the ordering of the songs. That said, Below the Line is a decent song with an excellent vocal performance (as well as throughout the entire album) by Andy Franck. I will admit some fanboyism for Franck ever since I picked up their Soul Temptation album years ago. He has the kind of powerful timbre that fits so well in power metal. The second song, In the Blink of an Eye, would have been a much better album opener, being an up tempo headbanger with a nicely done, melodic chorus. This is the Brainstorm I want to hear! The next several tracks are decent, if not typical Brainstorm, Temple of Stone, being a nice and crunchy offering. Dark Life has that unmistakeable Brainstorm mid-paced double bass and riffing, again with a catchy chorus. Where Your Actions Lead You to Live is one of the faster songs here, featuring a great vocal performance and a decent guitar solo. A Life on Hold follows with the typical up-tempo German power metal sound, a pretty good song. On the Spur of the Moment concludes with My Own Hell, a slower paced, almost doomy piece, nice and heavy, and an appropriate closer to the album.
If you are a Brainstorm fan, you probably already have this. If not, I recommend starting with Metus Mortis, Ambiguity, or Downburst first, then exploring other albums. On the Spur of the Moment is typical Brainstorm, but no real killer tracks or anything that caught my attention on the first play. I guess I am sort of lukewarm about it. Not their best, but not the worst either, just a decent power metal album.
I hear the sound in a METAL way.