8/21/2003 - Review by: Eric Compton
Brainstorm - Soul Temptation 2003 Metal Blade - reviewed by: EC
There really isn't anything remotely interesting here, with Brainstorm becoming completely uninsprired and complacent with their fifth album to date, "Soul Tempation". This is just a real lackluster approach for a German power metal band, and the record just begs for forgiveness from beginning to end.
I was a big Brainstorm fan early on, really latching on to those early records before Andy B. Frank came into the band. I thought the band's third record, "Ambiguity", and first with vocalist Frank was a real winner, sounding like the record that Vicious Rumors never recorded. Things started to go sour with the last release, "Metus Mortis", which still wasn't a total loss.
Soul Temptation just grinds at your nerves and is very catatonic in nature. The songs are very "processed" and really don't have much "hands on" feel to them. You can definitely tell this record doesn't possess anything that really reaches out to grab you, no originality that really makes you stop and listen. Its just rehashed Queensryche, Tad Morose, and even Journey melodies here.
Every song just gets by with very little effort from the guitarists. Very chug-chuga-chug-chug with each cut, and nothing that has any aggressive bite. Sure the drums are tight and fast, and Frank does a decent job on vocals here, but the songs just simply go nowhere. Listen to tracks like "Highs Without Lows" and "Shiva's Tears". They just have no clear path or destination, just tracks simply made to be tracks on an album that exists to be just another discography piece. I'm starting to worry about the German mindset these days. It really is becoming dull and unattractive to the veteran metal fan.
I really miss those raw, energetic 80s metal bands that put out records that really meant something. Just check out Jag Panzer's "Ample Destructon" or The 'Tage on albums like "Sirens" or "Power Of The Night". They existed because they started out to rule the metal domains, to roam free on the wild metal landscape, unpolished, unbridled, and certainly no snooze fests.
Soul Temptation is better left in the medicine cabinet near your favorite sedative.
EC - 08.22.03
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