Brainstorm - Scary Creatures review



Reviewer:
6.8

40 users:
7.03
Band: Brainstorm
Album: Scary Creatures
Release date: January 2016


01. The World To See
02. How Much Can You Take
03. We Are...
04. Where Angels Dream
05. Scary Creatures
06. Twisted Ways
07. Caressed By The Blackness
08. Scars In Your Eyes
09. Take Me To The Never
10. Sky Among The Clouds
11. Lift Your Eyes To See [digipak bonus]


Brainstorm, a band I hadn't actively listend to since 2005's Liquid Monster. It seems they have been consistently working since then and Scary Creatures is now the band's 11th studio effort. Their style hasn't changed much; a heavier brand of power metal in the style of fellow German band's Majesty, Metalium and Primal Fear. Brainstorm focus on big heavy guitar riffs and hooks over falsettos and keyboard solos. This album is no different and "Twisted Ways" is probably as close as you will get to a modern melodic power metal sound. Great for those looking for some traditional metal music.

Some lack of innovation has allowed Brainstorm to just about perfect their formula on Scary Creatures. Almost every chorus sounds like a live anthem and the vocals of Andy B. Franck are the highlight of the album. He has enough variety to stop the songs becoming mundane during the 50 minute length. I've heard him described as Geoff Tate on steroids and it's a somewhat apt description. He is excellent on "The World To See" and "Scary Creatures". The heavy riffs and dark atmosphere on the album really suit his voice and it's hard to imagine a less aggressive vocalist taking charge on the album.

Speaking of the title track, I would have loved if this song was a bit longer. There's a great solo section and it's just over too quickly. All the songs clock in at 4-5 minutes and this was a great opportunity to take the song to another level. While there are no duds, there are still tracks that plod along and aren't very memorable. Tracks like "We Are" and "Where Angels Dream" really remind me of modern Iced Earth rabble-rousing anthems, probably great live, but quite average when sitting listening to it. This continues throughout the entire album, tracks just seem to come and go with little orchestral sections before the final chorus just offering something a little different for a brief moment. This happens with almost every song.

The biggest fault though is the production. I was happy that I could actually hear the bass, but there are moments when it sounds like a wall of sound. This somewhat ruins the heaviness of the guitars and it is more noticeable when a song will quickly shift into one of the orchestral sections. Thankfully the vocals are never ruined because of this.

Scary Creatures isn't a bad album by any means. It is catchy and heavy, but nothing will surprise you. No songs are particularly special or memorable. It is just one of those albums that I can only describe as "consistent". Depending on your view of originality or formulaic material, Scary Creatures will either be an average traditional metal album, or a good Brainstorm album.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 5
Production: 6


 



Written on 19.01.2016 by Try not to my review score personally.


Comments

Comments: 5   Visited by: 141 users
19.01.2016 - 17:01
berba_
Good rating. Typical german second-league album.
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19.01.2016 - 18:20
Bad English
Masterchief
This is band why I ever found MS... great one, well somehow its heavy somehow still PM; I need re listen some older albums, I don't remember, I know I did like it in a past
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19.01.2016 - 19:34
berba_
From Metus Mortis to Memorial Roots everything is ok. But then they started to copy themselves.
Even Franck's vocals are boring. Sadly...
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22.01.2016 - 20:29
Metren
The What The?
Not a power metal fan these days, but I checked it out out of pure morbid curiosity. I must say, in all honesty, when it comes to "Brainstorms", I prefer the Latvian band that came 3d in the Eurovision Song Contest one year

The review also hits all the right points, well done.
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30.01.2016 - 16:02
FelixtheMetalcat
Although I have yet to hear this album, Brainstorm is HARDLY a second rate German power metal band. They've stood for heavier than thou riffs & classy vocals for 25+ years. What their fans love about them is the fact they don't stray too far from their formula. I can easily agree that at times over the past 2-3 albums I wished they had expanded the overall flight of the song into something grander. At this point in the career of the band maybe expanding some songs like they did with Shiva's Tears on the Soul Temptation album might be a good idea so the band doesn't sound stale...but rarely have I ever been disappointed by a Brainstorm album & I doubt this will change. Andy Franck is one of the best vocalists in the business for my money.
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