Rating:
7.8
Stormwarrior - Northern Rage
2004


Disc I
01. And The Northewinde Bloweth
02. Heroic Deathe
03. Valhalla
04. Thy Last Fyre
05. Welcome thy Rite
06. Odin's Warriors
07. Bloode Eagle
08. Sigrblót
09. To Foreign Shores
10. Lindisfarne

Disc II [Bonus]
01. Turn The Cross Upside Down [OZ cover]
02. Valhalla [Swedish version]
03. Odens Krigare [Odin's Warriors Swedish version]
04. Fyllevisa
05. Iron Prayers [video] [2004 version]
06. Iron Prayers (Outtakes)


It's time for StormWarrior to release the successor to the album that was prized as the real successor to Helloween's debut "Walls of Jericho", and it's also time for StormWarrior to show us that they weren't a "One Hit Wonder".
And it's "Northern Rage" that's going to give us all the answers, either good or bad.

StormWarrior hails from Northern Germany, and have early Helloween and Running Wild as forefathers. The band was formed by Lars Ramcke (Vocals & Guitars) & André Schumann (Drums) in 1998, the same year did Scott Bölter (Guitars) & Tim Zienert joins.
In 1999 and 2000, their 2 demos were released in a very small amount of copies (500 & 700) and in 2001, they signed with Dream Evil Records and released a 333 copy limited edition 7".
Shortly after, they sign with Remedy Records and the bands second 7" was released, in 250 copies.
At that time, a debut album was planed, and in the beginning of 2002 it was recorded, and produced by Kai Hansen and Dirk Schlächter and no other than Uwe Karczewski (Helloween) did the cover-art.
Some new members where added, and today line-up is Lars Ramcke (Vocals & Guitars), David Wiczorek (Guitars), Jussi Zimmermann (Bass) & Falko Reshöft (Drums).
An EP was recorded in 2002 and released under the name "Heavy Metal Fire".
And in the second album, "Northern Rage" that's once again is produced by Kai Hansen and the cover-art by Uwe.

As mention, Kai is once again behind the levers and is also doing some smaller guest appearances (as on the debut), with vocals on one song (Heroic Deathe) and a solo on another (Welcome thy Rite).
But even without Kai it's hard not to compare it to older Helloween, the simple and raw sound was the fact that made the first Helloween so famous, and it's that sound StormWarrior is using, and trying to become famous with.

Other bands is copying the "Keepers" but StormWarrior is trying with the older one, can't that even work, I asked myself before I got my hands on the debut.
And to answer that question today, I would say: "It did for the first album, but I'm not sure how this is going to be received, now when everyone knows what StormWarrior is all about".
As for the "One Hit Wonder" thing, I think StormWarrior is good enough to stay out of the danger zone, but for the copycat zone, they are already in it, and need to work their way out.

But as I said, it's too alike the debut, but with one difference, it's a little better, but it's not evolution it's about, it's just that the album feels more like a copy of the debut, not only a copy of Helloween, as the debut.
It became quite advance there, don't you think? But what I mean is that on the debut, they even copied some riffs from Helloween, and I don't like such things, so that's one reason why this album gets a higher mark from me.

Surely, StormWarrior have the future ahead of them, but they'll need to wait and work hard before, because this isn't the album that will rise them to the stars, but I'm sure they can, sometime in the future, they are on the right track.

As a little present to us Swedish fans, the band is going to release a bonus cd (that's going to be available other countries too) with 4 songs (and 2 videos), 3 Swedish ones. But also (only for Sweden) a 7" with those three songs, in only 200 copies.

Check Out: "Lindisfarne" & "Odin's Warriors".


Band profile: Stormwarrior
Album: Northern Rage


 


written by Malcolm | 05.07.2004



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