Downburst

SKU: 146592
Label:
Metal Blade
Category:
Metal/Hard Rock
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Seventh album from this popular German power metal band led by vocalist Andy Franck.



"Been more than two years since Liquid Monster (which was one), yet still no additional North American shows. Well, the Germans better get their “esel” overseas for Downburst, or there will be an outburst, big time! Although not as immediate as its predecessor, Downburst picks up where Brainstorm left off (‘Stained With Sin’, ‘Redemption In Your Eyes’ and ‘How Do You Feel’). All told, these ten tunes benefit from the symphonic diversification sweeping through the power metal movement, i.e. Primal Fear, Iced Earth, etc. The effect is most noticeable in ‘Surrounding Walls’ and throughout ‘End In Sorrow’, where the hushed tones of singer Andy B. Franck sound decidedly American radio-friendly. In the opposite direction, there’s the staccato modernism of ‘Fire Walk With Me’ and modulated vocals on ‘Frozen’. Heaviest track honours go to ‘Protect Me From Myself’, which also sports an extended guitar break. The ‘All Alone’ finale has Franck in spoken word/near whisper, with an infectious late ‘70s hard rock chorus riff. 8/10" - Mark Gromen/Brave Words

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  • "Shrapnel's trademark during many years has been the stuff of guitar virtuosos. You can find Malmsteen's Steeler and MacAlpine's stuff, just to mentioned the most well-known artists of the label, but in the first half of the '80s a four member project had released a very powerful album.The project is really astonishing with MacAlpine on guitars, Aldridge on drums, Rock on vocals, and Sarzo playing bass. It is much more than a project, but a dream team. Sadly, they just released this album.Describing its sound, it has the atmosphere of a space-themed power metal album with influences from bands like Queensrÿche, Fates Warning, and even Crimson Glory (the well-known white collar USPM sound) with a touch of MacAlpine, who with no doubts marked the difference in the sound of the album. Years later, you'll find traces of the atmosphere of this band with German power metallers like Scanner and Forced Entry.In the first part (the power metal side), you'll find the hard speed metal hitters "Nations on Fire", "Stand Up and Fight", and "Unknown Survivor". These songs, of course, have the sound I mentioned, very effective speed metal with the neoclassical solos MacAlpine plays and Rob Rock vocals being the ingredients that the songs needed. Another important song is the ballad "Nostradamus". In this song, MacAlpine shows another talent he has: keyboard playing. In a more traditional vein, the second part is more relaxed. They explored a more romantic theme, leaving the space, power, and war lyrics of the first part. It isn't really one I enjoyed a lot, but another a good song is "Fantasy".So the album is a very good release. Maybe it isn't cheap (at least in this country), but if you have a chance, just buy it. If you would like to know a similar album, search for Forced Entry's (Ger) self-titled. The album has a similar sound (except for keyboards)." - Metal Archives
    $16.00
  • Limited edition digipak comes with a bonus live CD."Even if I’d spend a decent amount of time, I don’t think I would be able to find an average album in BRAINSTORM’s discography. You can try it for yourself but I am sure you’ll realize that this German band has been releasing very good albums being extremely reliable to its fan base. I am sure some will object to my statement by saying that the albums are indeed good but not stellar. Then you’d reach to the dilemma of what a metalhead prefers his favorite band to release; a couple of really good albums or keep a constant quality level? On the other hand, over-thinking music takes a huge chunk of just-having-fun time, so I will leave all these questions to the hands/minds of the deep thinkers because “Firesoul” comes with ten great songs to sing and headbang along.“Erased By The Dark” opens the album and the trained ear should not have a single problem recognizing the (by now) trademark BRAINSTORM sound. Andy B. Franck’s powerful voice is once again delivering a hearty collection of vocal melodies that do not need a lot of time to get you humming or even singing along. The guitars have a US Power Metal quality that is hard to miss and impossible to fail, so please crank the volume up during the fat rhythm of the self-titled track and “Entering Solitude” (love the opening guitar groove here). “Shadowseeker” steps on the gas and throws in the mix some killer leads that guide the song to a climax during the solo before passing the baton to the album’s highlight, “Feed Me Lies”. This song could easily be a BRAINSTORM showcase for those who have missed this band completely bringing along; the dialogue-like mix of the lead-vocals, the collection of catchy melodies (I challenge you to resist singing along the chorus) and the awesome double guitar action that tops everything off. The band’s German ancestry comes to surface through the solid rhythm that can make you think of PRIMAL FEAR or SINNER; in other words, Power Metal in its finest and obviously I am not talking about the cheesy/cookie cutter one. I have no idea about the bonus material (I will hunt the vinyl edition anyway) but having the album in repeat-mode made me think that the mid-tempo and kind of dark “…And I Wonder” leads to the faster and heavier album’s opener in a natural way, so it will keep you listening.After listening more than it would be enough to write my thoughts/opinion about it, I realized that “Firesoul” is better than the last two albums and I think I enjoyed it as I did “Liquid Monster” that placed BRAINSTORM under my music-radar. This album is the perfect way to starting dealing with this band that I think has not received the deserved recognition (yet) and I will again refer you to its high-quality backcatalogue." - Metal Kaoz
    $16.00
  • Leave Scars is the third studio album released by the American thrash metal band, Dark Angel, released on January 24, 1989. It was their first album with vocalist Ron Rinehart and bassist Mike Gonzalez (who joined just prior to the release of Darkness Descends), and the last to feature guitarist Jim Durkin for 24 years until his return to the band in 2013. Leave Scars was Dark Angel's most successful release, peaking at number 159 on the Billboard 200.
    $8.00
  • “Wow, what an impressive debut from these Norwegian progsters! I feel the same way about prog metal as I do about power metal: some of it I like a great deal and some of it does absolutely nothing for me. CIRCUS MAXIMUS' "The 1st Chapter" does damn near everything for me.” – Blabbermouth.net Circus Maximus’ first album, “The First Chapter”, took the metal world by storm in 2005. In advance of the release, the band was invited to make their North American debut at ProgPower USA. The response to their performance and the subsequent CD release produced an encore appearance in 2006. Since then the band has spent the past year gigging and further refining their sound. With the release of “Isolate”, they are poised to take their place alongside the upper echelon of progressive metal bands. The band’s musical formula is not easy to accomplish – take jaw dropping musicianship, add a singer like Michael Eriksen with a voice from heaven and toss it together with hooks, anthemic melodies and enough heavy riffing to stick with you for days. Just for good measure, toss in state of the art production courtesy of noted producer Tommy Hansen (Helloween, Jorn, Pretty Maids and TNT). It’s the band’s ability to do this all so well in such a short period of time that has drawn them so much attention. Isolate represents the best of both worlds – it’s progressive enough for any fan of technical minded metal but at the same time it’s purely infectious music. From ballads like “Zero” to the epic length “Mouth Of Madness”, this album will instantly appeal to fans of bands such as Symphony X, Dream Theater, and Kamelot. Music as amazing as this deserves artwork to match. Once again, Mattias Noren has been enlisted to design the packaging.
    $13.00
  • "The rise of Greek power metaller, Firewind, has give the world two new metal heroes. They are Bob Katsionis (keyboards) and Gus G. Both are skillful musicians, now world class respected. Bob released his solo album in 2012, but only in March 2014 that Gus G finally catch up with a release his long waited solo album. Gus G's solo album titled as I Am the Fire, he is well backed by world class musicians and singers. As Gus G was previously active in Ozzy Osbourne team, the styles of heavy metal and hard rock in this solo album is not surprising, a bit step further away from his main band of Firewind, which is a power metal band.Let's see the two most interesting tracks by observing the guess list. Vengeance is back by Megadeth's David Ellefson. This is instrumental track for sure, the riffs are heavy, fast double pedal drum and of course Gus' shred + David's bass attack was more than cool enough. The second instrumental is fall to "Billy Sheehan's track". Terrified is yet another ultra fast shreds with a title that reminds us to Scarified by Racer X. Both instrumental tracks is enough to made guitars fans demand an exclusive instrumental guitar album from Gus!On the vocalized songs, they are all excellence. Mat Levén is acting as host singer, he tackled four tracks. From the opener My Will Be Done, a straight forward modern rock tunes, then Blame It On Me, a happier glam metal one. On the later are Eyes Wide Open, this is kind of late '80s hair metal scenes feel. The last from Mat is End Of The Line, acoustic ballad in the style of wild wild west. Mat Levén was once Firewind singer also.I Am The Fire is a collaboration with Devour The Day / Blake Allison. The riffs quickly brings us to modern nu-metal feels, this concurred with the style of singing, the song's structures, and utilizing of choruses, which is in the spirit of alternative metal. Long Way Down on the other hand is the only female guess track with Alexia Rodiguez. Alexia is from the band Eyes Set To Kill. The song can be categorizing as a heavier version Evanescenes style. Jacob Bunton from Lynam / Adler fame contributed in Just Can't Let Go. This is yet again in alternative / US modern metal feel. Michael Starr from Steel Panther trusted with Redemption, a track that focused on wild glam metal form, fit the image of Steel Panther. Veteran singer Jeff Scott Soto is in the spiritful AOR track of Summer Days. Finally there at least an European feel in Dreamkeeper, where Evergrey singer Tom S. Englund delivered it epic-ly!What a great packed of quality materials in one album. Of all tracks not only Gus G able to fit the styles of his song to the respected guess, he also seem like outdone the guess' each band. For example in Tom Englund's track, we can feel Evergrey's music in it. There are enough punches on each song, added more  replay value to the album. Interestingly, Gus G decided to not gives any clue about his music from Firewind. A good choices, meaning his creativity in the area of power metal will still dedicated to the main band. I Am the Fire is a great album with fresh ideas stretching  from modern metal to oldies glam metal. A must have." - Metal Harem
    $12.00
  • After a long silence Israel's best known death metal band returns. "Mabool" is the band's third album - a concept work with a Biblical theme. The band has always had a unique slant to their sound and it carries on here....it's an eclectic mix of death metal and Middle Eastern flavors. I always would kid about this band and describe their sound as "death metal goes to a bar mitzvah". Comes with a bonus disc in which the band does acoustic versions of some of their old material as well as a cover of "Mercy" from Paradise Lost. Avant-metal that really deserves to be heard.
    $7.00
  • 2 CD edition comes with a bonus disc featuring acoustic versions of material from the core album."Recently Dutch symphonic metal outfit Epica celebrated their first decade as a band with a massive show and a release of a DVD and now they’re back with a brand new studio album, which may very well be their finest moment to date…On “The Quantum Enigma” Epica has grown far beyond their humble musical beginnings. The symphonic elements and the massive choirs are still very much in place, but the band has found a new sense of renewed vigour and focus. High paced scorchers like ‘The Second Stone’, ‘The Essence Of Silence’ and ‘Reverence – Living In The Heart’ are poignant examples of the aforementioned refound sense of urgency. The band isn’t afraid to incorporate elements from thrash, death and progressive metal in their musical fabric, which makes this album a tempting listening adventure for people who aren’t necessarily into female fronted/symphonic metal.Vocalist Simone Simons shines on tracks like ‘Omen – The Ghoulish Malady’ and ‘Canvas Of Life’, while Arien van Weesenbeek shows his drumming prowess in the aforementioned ‘The Second Stone’ and ‘Essence Of Silence’. A special mention should go to guitarist Isaac Delahaye. His tasteful leads and solos are the proverbial icing on the cake. Particularly the main guitar solo in ‘The Quantum Enigma – Kingdom Of Heaven part 2’ is simply mindboggling.Production-wise “The Quantum Enigma” is a true gem, thanks to the considerable talents of Joost van den Broek (ReVamp, MaYan) and Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Pestilence). The direct and in-your-face production sound gives the album a definitive edge which is somewhat lacking on some of Epica’s earlier works.“The Quantum Enigma” is the sort of record where everything comes together. Great songs, great atmosphere and the band has finally managed to capture the energy of their live shows on a studio album. It’s still early in the year, but “The Quantum Enigma” is destined to become one of the musical highlights of 2014." - This Is Not A Scene
    $14.00
  • "After some high profile releases and particularly impressive ubiquity, the ex-DREAM THEATER / A7X drums God Mike Portnoy is back again with his new musical partner the magnificent Bass Maestro Billy Sheehan (NIACIN / TALAS / DAVID LEE ROTH / MR BIG / STEVE VAI / PSMS), under a power trio format, completed by none other than one of the most gifted Guitarist of his generation once Sharpnel Records alumni Richie Kotzen but this time no instrumental trickery, no instrumental knitting, because Kotzen beside his absolute skilled six strings wizardry is also indeed an hell of a fantastic soulful singer and a very underrated vocalist of the best brand. This is a  supergroup, a Dream Team hell yeah…but mostly a great band.With such a busy time schedule for both workaholics Portnoy & Sheehan, we could have feared a fast almost sloppy affair, luckily with this first album is exactly the opposite. Sheehan & Kotzen were working many years together with MR BIG and in fact the sound of THE WINERY DOGS isn’t that far from what Sheehan, Paul Gilbert , Pat Torpey and Eric Martin have magnificently achieved.The album start with groovy 70s infused blast of “Elevate” and followed by the heavy Funk flavor of “Desire” each track feature an intense rhythmic groove with short but impressive unison synchronized lead bass / lead guitar whirlwind licks of exuberant virtuosity, some unexpected harmonies that coming out of the Jazz-Rock / Rhythm N' Blues recipe book owned by Kotzen, but every song carries most of all a strong focus both on the catchy melodies and on the sing-along hooks which are everywhere boosted by rich Backing vocals (“The Other Side” or “The Dying”) really magnetic & irresistible. Those who are familiar with the prolific superb Kotzen’s discography knows that he’s an hugely skilled songwriter with a lot of style in his arsenal, so THE WINERY DOGS debut album is out of the same tradition as THE MOTHER HEAD'S FAMILLY REUNION, “Not Hopeless” contains however some over the top sharing duo between Richie & Billy, in the real MR BIG's shredding frenzy fashion, like a modern day GRAND FUNK RAILROAD with full injection of high tech dexterity.Cuts like “One More Time” or “Six Feet Deeper” seems to be outtakes from the breath taking 1990s “Fever Dream”, with furious playing and great musicality concentrated for an even more efficiency. The Japan only bonus track, “Criminal” is strangely one of the most commercial song with an almost AOR chorus, a syncopated bridge and another outstanding lead guitar solo spot in two parts with a tasty sound. The closing number “Regret” is the sole composition handled exclusively by Mr. Kotzen: it’s a soul music track with slight Hammond layers and a real harmonious balanced to finish this album in a positive way. The pristine production is powerful and crystal clear, still organic with a strong vintage feel but not muddy, in fact it sounds like how Classic Rock in its purest form should sound in 2013. Just unadulterated genuine Rock played by an exemplary bunch of extremely talented musicians and it’s an understatement.After an imposing huge list of albums and projects under his belt, Mike Portnoy with the help of another all-star lineup show to the incredulous crowd of jealous fellows, how his playing field is broad and how he can multiply in an almost monthly omnipresence the recording with the same prestige and the same success as FLYING COLORS / NEAL MORSE / PSMS / ADRENALINE MOB and the forthcoming BIGELF." - Metal Temple
    $14.00
  • As female fronted metal becomes more and more established it seems predictable that the bands in the genre would take a more accessible approach to their music. As it was with Lacuna Coil, Within Temptation, and Delain, so it has come to pass for Lyriel. This German band's fourth album finds them cranking the amps up a bit. There is still a folk element present in that violin and cello figure prominently again. Jessica Thierjung continues to be a real asset offering a warm, soulful and inviting voice. I'll stand by my past comparison to a heavier version of Kingfisher Sky.
    $15.00
  • "Probably Bulldozer's most advanced release ever, Neurodeliri starts with a dramatic pipe organ intro that quickly evolves into the massive title track. Although this album still features many of the band's familiar traits, the result is considerably more focused, intense and memorable than IX. Despite some more serious touches, the music on the whole remains strangely uplifting and captivating. Highlights include the awesome title track and Art Of Deception, not to forget about Ilona Had Been Elected which appears to be another amusing song about the band's favorite Ilona Staller. These compositions are not without their rough edges, but eventually all the pieces fit together quite nicely and you can't help really liking some of this release. It seems that with Neurodeliri Bulldozer finally refined their style to the maximum effect." - Classicthrash.com
    $16.00
  • One of the great hard rock albums of the 70s.  After Uli Jon Roth left the band he was replaced by Matthias Jabs.  His guitar technique was far removed from the neoclassical stylings of Roth, taking a more traditional hard rock/melodic metal approach.  Returning to the fold is Rudi's brother Michael Schenker.  With streamlined songwriting it all comes together.  A non-stop killer.
    $5.00
  • "It takes a certain talent for bands to satisfy both diehard fans and those seeking something different. In 2008, Stratovarius underwent a transformation after the critically destroyed self-titled release from 2005 and the subsequent "Revolution Renaissance" demo. Then there was the departure of founder/guitarist Timo Tolkki and the series of bizarre events that followed, including the infamous internet letter relinquishing the band and its back catalog to singer Timo Kotipelto, keyboardist Jens Johansson, then bassist Jari Kainulainen, and then drummer Jorg Michael.From the point the band finally regrouped, it sought to quickly reinstate past glory with a vengeance, releasing “Polaris” followed by the stunning “Elysium,” which would prove tough to beat. However, "Nemesis" is a "black diamond" of pristine perfection in every way and the band's best effort since 1997's “Visions."When the new release was announced, the band commented about being more mature in the song writing and the tracks having a “darker and more modern" edge. The guitar sound is noticeably crunchier and the album scores a complete victory in the song writing. To the non-symphonic metal fan, my incessant glorification of the genre may result in the combination of eye rolling and the nondescript "whaa-whaa" of any adult in a Peanuts cartoon. To Stratovarius fans, “Nemesis” is a collection of the band's greatest hits that you never heard until now. The soaring and emotionally charged choruses are more fetching than ever and the guitar work has more hooks than Kim Kardashian’s closets. You have to admire guitarist Matias Kupiainen, who has stepped in, stepped up, and has outshined Timo Tolkki in every aspect (no disrespect to Timo). At the time of “Polaris,” I had no worries about how vocal great Kotipelto or key legend Johansson would fare, but Matias came in and elevated their play to a levels unheard especially with “Nemesis.”The most noticeable difference on this album is Johansson’s brilliant and refreshing key work. The album is filled with keyboard pops and over the top bombastic finger play shown in “One Must Fall,” “Fantasy,” and especially “Halcyon Days.” Many fans have been lulled into the prototypical Stratovarius sound from Johansson over many years, and now he has raised the bar. There is a jolt of excitement to every song, sort of an amalgamation of Olof Morck’s work in Amaranthe and a splash of “Rage for Order” era Queensryche. This shouldn’t scare away any longtime fans of the group, it’s the most upbeat and exciting that I have ever heard the band.Tracks that rise above include the speedy opener “Abandon,” which sets the perfect tone for the entire album, “Unbreakable,” the perfect choice for a first single,” and the three tracks with the most glorious choruses in Stratovarius’ illustrious history: “Out of the Fog,” “Castles In the Air,” and personal favorite “Stand My Ground.” However, these tracks do not overshadow any of the others; there simply is no filler, no boredom, and no mistakes.With effortless delivery, “Nemesis” is markedly superior to “Elysium” and makes the great “Polaris” look like a demo. Stratovarius has stormed out to an early and big lead in the race to the best of the year, one that on paper appears to be filled with so many potential winners. There is little doubt that an album that instantly ranks among this Finnish band’s all-time best should be able to withstand much of the competition.Highs: Simply put, one of the finest releases in the band's history.Lows: Really none, but it may not appeal to non-symphonic metal fans.Bottom line: Stratovarius takes back the throne by evoking the divine goddess of retribution." - Metal Underground
    $11.00
  • Remastered edition with two bonus tracks."After the failed experiment of Turbo, Judas Priest toned down the synths and returned to the basics, delivering a straight-ahead, much more typical Priest album with Ram It Down. The band's fan base was still devoted enough to consistently push each new album past the platinum sales mark, and perhaps that's part of the reason Ram It Down generally sounds like it's on autopilot. While there are some well-constructed songs, they tend toward the generic, and the songwriting is pretty lackluster overall, with the up-tempo title track easily standing out as the best tune here. And even though Ram It Down backed away from the territory explored on Turbo, much of the album still has a too-polished, mechanical-sounding production, especially the drums. Lyrically, Ram It Down is firmly entrenched in adolescent theatrics that lack the personality or toughness of Priest's best anthems, which -- coupled with the lack of much truly memorable music -- makes the record sound cynical and insincere, the lowest point in the Rob Halford era. Further debits are given for the cover of "Johnny B. Goode."" - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • "The proper follow-up to Among the Living was somewhat disappointing in its inconsistency. While there are some good moments -- "Be All, End All" is one of the band's most melodic moments, and several other tracks catch fire -- the best thing here is a cover of Trust's "Antisocial," and it doesn't bode well when covers outshine original material. The lyrics continue the self-consciously intellectual, PC approach begun on Among the Living, but about half of the album is surprisingly dull." - All Music Guide
    $5.00