Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

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CD review BRAINSTORM "Memorial Roots" re-rooted

Veröffentlicht am 8. Oktober 2016 von Markus W. in Brainstorm, Heavy Metal, Melodic Metal, Power Metal, News, CD Review

(8/10) "Memorial Roots" was and is to date one of Brainstorm's best records. Originally released in October 2009 the longplayer includes highlights such as "Shiva".

Since the band was under time pressure while recording this album things went well but also included some space for improvement. The original version sounds good but it led to discussions amongst fans, loving the songs and suffering a bit from the sound. Based on fan feedback and own perception it was Torsten Ihlenfeld's ambition to re-work the album.

The result of this work is released and it got the name "Memorial Roots" re-rooted. It proves that the effort was worth it. Brainstorm gave the powerful songs a more modern and dynamic expression. The guys lifted the 2009 release on a 2016 level. A main player in this work was Achim Köhler who worked with the band for some more album. Köhler took the original tapes and gave them a totally new mix.

For the ones of you that don't think that a new sound is enough of a goodie for buying this version I can tell you that there are all the tunes form the "Memorial Roots" session on this record. It's the two Digipak songs, a vinyl bonus track, a Japanese bonus track and an unreleased version of "Forsake What I Believed".

To sum up: "Memorial Roots" became a face-lift that makes the album more exciting than the original release. Power and dynamic get more into the forefront, something that benefits the well-done songs very much. Fans can't expect more from such a package.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Forsake What I Believed
  2. Shiver
  3. The Conjunction Of 7 Planets
  4. Cross The Line
  5. Nailed Down Dreams
  6. Blood Still Stains
  7. Ahimsa
  8. The Final Stages Of Decay
  9. Victim
  10. When No One Cares
  11. Would You
  12. Seems To Be Perfect
  13. Too late To Deny
  14. Nothing
  15. Honesty
  16. Forsake What I Believed (Edit)

 

Label: AFM Records

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: September 16th, 2016

CD review BRAINSTORM "Memorial Roots" re-rooted
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Interview with Torsten Ihlenfeld from BRAINSTORM

Veröffentlicht am 27. Januar 2016 von Markus W. in Brainstorm, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, US Metal, News, Interview

Swabian metal command Brainstorm released their newest album "Scary Creatures"  a few days ago. This well-crafted metal release got some support by an official release show the band performed in Giengen, Germany. A few kilometers away from their hometown the gig was more than just a release show. It was the first headliner show of Brainstorm since many many years attracting many fans and friends of the band.

Markus Heavy Music Blog had the chance to talk to guitarist and founding member Torsten Ihlenfeld about "Scary Creatures", the release show and the upcoming tour with Primal Fear.

 

Markus Heavy Music Blog: Hi Torsten, good to see you. How are you doing, a few hours before the Brainstorm CD release show will start?

Torsten Ihlenfeld: I’m good, thanks. It feels great to go on stage and present the new material.

MHMB: „Scary Creatures” is the name of the new album. Where does it come from and what does it mean?

Torsten: The name is based on what keeps us busy right now. There are lots of things going on at the moment on this planet. We monitored the current global situation, but also considered things from history, to illustrate how bad some leaders in politics and religion have been and still are. This is the idea behind 'scary creatures'.

MHMB: So you could say that the album refers to ‚scary creatures’ in reality. It’s more than just made up creepy stories.

Torsten: Yes, you could say so. Next to the global issues there are also the personal ‚little monsters’ in each of us which we embedded in the lyrics as well.

MHMB: Is there a connection between the different songs? Is it a kind of concept or are the ‚scary creatures' more an overall theme?

Torsten: No, „Scary Creatures” isn’t a concept album. The songs reflect different stories which have been written by Andy (B. Franck). But the earlier described background is the glue that keeps the songs together.

MHMB: For „Firesoul” you needed almost 3 years and you did „Scary Creatures” in only half of the time. What have you guys done differently in order to be faster this time?

Torsten: We immediately started to work on it (Torsten laughs). But seriously, we worked on „Firesoul” for around 2,5 years. Compared to working on „Firesoul” we had this time the chance to start working on new songs directly after we came back from touring. We tried to transfer the enthusiasm from touring into writing new songs. We wanted to include this energy into the new tunes and I think we succeeded very well. So the songwriting process itself wasn’t that much shorter.

MHMB: If we talk about „Firesoul” and „Scary Creatures”, where do you guys see the differences between the two?

Torsten: Actually I don’t think that there is that much of a difference between the two records, even though some people might want to see those. For us, „Scary Creatures” is a logical successor of „Firesoul”. We weren’t aiming for doing things much different. Brainstorm is a band that never looks too much left or right. We do things in a way that we as a band are happy with the result. You know, during the songwriting and recording you can’t ask anybody anyhow when it comes to the new material and when the album is released, people can share if they like it or not. But at that moment in time it’s too late for changes anyhow. That’s why we need to be satisfied with what we are doing and that’s where our focus is.

MHMB: When I have heard „Scary Creatures” the first time I thought it’s a bit more bombastic and a bit harder than "Firesoul".

Torsten: Yes and no. In general the album isn’t really much harder but in a way it’s more focussed. If you take for example the title track and also „We are…” then you find a few more additional bombastic elements in those tunes.

Interview with Torsten Ihlenfeld from BRAINSTORM

MHMB: „We are…” includes a kids choir which is something new for Brainstorm. Do you want to share with us who those kids are?

Torsten: Of course. It’s our own kids that are singing on „We are…”. It took some time for them to get used to the studio and they also have been really nervous. But in the end I must say that we had a lot of fun all together … and they are super proud of having been part of the album.

MHMB: The first video was made for „The World to See”. What was the idea behind choosing this track for a video?

Torsten: We agreed very rapidly that this song will be the opener of „Scary Creatures” and we wanted to shoot a video for this track. For us, the opener of an album is a kind of statement for the rest of the record and I that’s why we have chosen „The World to See” as being the first video.

MHMB: You decided to go big with this video. You captured the theatre feeling of the album cover and I guess you guys spend also some time for masques and make-up.

Torsten: Indeed. It took really long when it comes to mask and make-up. The moment we received the storybook I thought that this doesn’t work. But things worked out. We have been 15 people and we had only one day for recording the video. The main reason for such a short timeframe is the fact that we recorded in the only, at least in parts original, erotic theatre in Europe. We found the location by searching the web, looking for a theatre that at least partly reflects the album cover. We found this theatre in Gotha and thought, that this will be the place. So we gave it a try and contacted the people there. Actually, we haven’t thought that the guys will allow a metal band to do a video shooting at this place. But we got a 'go' and they have been really nice people. In the morning they explained everything to us in a great way, from the original stage flooring to the oldschool stage setting with ropes and strings. In order to not damage the old original flooring we even had to put tennis balls on the camera tripod and so on. But again, all the effort was worth it and the result look very cool.

MHMB: „Scary Creatures” will also be released in golden vinyl. Are you guys personally into vinyl too?

Torsten: Vinyl becomes more and more a kind of standard which I really like. I even have a record player in my office and it’s just a total different ballgame if you have an album cover of a vinyl.

Interview with Torsten Ihlenfeld from BRAINSTORM

MHMB: This time the release show takes place in Giengen, while the last time, Brainstorm played four release shows all over Germany. Why this time only one concert?

Torsten: The main reason for having had four shows the last time was, because there was quite some time between the album release and the official tour. This is different with „Scary Creatures“. The release date is mid January and the tour starts in February which is a perfect flow. That’s also one of the reasons why we are in Giengen. A nice side effect is that tonight we will perform the first headliner show in the Heidenheim area since 1989. So good to be back.

MHMB: Will you perform the entire „Scary Creatures” album?

Torsten: No, we have decided to go for four song. It worked with the „Firesoul” album to play the record from beginning to end and we took the effort to do something different at that time, but normally you can’t rehearse all the songs for such a show. This time it’s a mix of the new stuff and some old Brainstorm classics. I think, all in all, we’ll play around 100 minutes of pure Brainstorm tonight.

MHMB: You mentioned the tour already, again with Primal Fear. Seems you guys are pretty good buddies.

Torsten: Yes, we know each other very well. It’s the third time after 2009 and 2012 that we will be on tour together. We are co-headliner in this tour and we will have roundabout 60 minutes for our set, sharing the same backline and the same stage setup. That’s one of the benefits if you know each other. You know what you can expect, and you know with whom you share the nightliner.

MHMB: Will there be also special release show merchandise this time? Last time there was a special package, just for those four shows.

Torsten: No, this time we will not have such a special package. This is mainly due to the fact that fans abroad, who can’t join a release show, don’t have a fair chance to get such a package. This time we have a special logo shirt which we sell today and during the tour - as long as there is stock available. What stayed though is the way of a sustainable production of the shirts because this is something important to us.

MHMB: Torsten, thanks spending some time with MHMB and I wish all of us a great show tonight.

Torsten: Thanks for having me.

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Live review BRAINSTORM/UNDERTOW/STEPFATHER FRED, ..., Giengen, 16.01.2016

Veröffentlicht am 19. Januar 2016 von Markus W. in Brainstorm, Undertow, Stepfather Fred, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, News, Live Review, Thrash Metal, Doom Metal

The whole German winter was green so far and temperatures have been on springly 14 degrees. This changed the day Swabian power metal command Brainstorm invited to the release show of their newest album "Scary Creatures". The whole area was covered by freshly fallen white snow which didn't make it easy for metal fans to get the venue.

However, the ones that took the effort to get to the show have been rewarded by five hours of pure German metal for a very fair price.

But let's start from the beginning. The first band that had to enter the stage was Stepfather Fred. I haven't heard of these guys before. The only thing I knew was that they supported already bands like Emil Bulls and Die Happy. The dudes did a good job even though the venue wasn't that much filled at that time. Stepfather Fred's songs can be described as solid alternative metal that lives by the enegry the guys spread. Halfway the show the crowd also understood why everybody got a lighter by entering the venue. Singer Basti and guitarist Simon left the stage, went into the crowd and played an acoustic tune, surrounded by some fans with lighters on. It's a nice idea that probably even work better in a small club.

Stepfather Fred did an good job and they warmed up the crowd, something that was need on this winter night.

After a short break it was time for Undertow. The German doom thrashers got 60 minutes of playtime which the used vey well.

The whole show was one big metal feast hosted by a band that played tight and spot-on. Guitarist and singer Joschi has been the tower of strength behind the mic, surrounded by his six-string companion Markus Brand and bassist Undertom, who celebrated his birthday the same day. What a cool combination. Not to forget in this context drummer Oli Riegler with his heavy punch behind the drum kit, assuring a strong rhythm foundation and the right power for Undertow.

They four-piece put together a setlist that was a mix of loud and more silent. Not only since this show, it feels like the band got a wider range of sounds by adding a second guitarist a while ago. The latest release "In Deepest Silence" has shown this already, but also the older stuff became more thrilling during the live shows. Tunes like "Smoke Garden" and the mighty "Crawler" made the speakers to an impervious wall of sound.

I like Undertow the most when they reduce the speed and hammer some brutal and slow riffs in the crowd; riffs that feel like a slap into your face. One of those moments was towards the end when the guys peformed with "In Deepest Silence" the title track from their latest record.

Undertow really warmed up the crowd during this 'homematch'. Good band, good music, Swabia rocks.

Live review BRAINSTORM/UNDERTOW/STEPFATHER FRED, ..., Giengen, 16.01.2016

Then it was time for Brainstorm to present their new songs live on stage. That's why most of the fans came for.

To my surprise, Brainstorm has chosen "Nelly the Elephant" from the Toy Dolls as an intro. I'm not sure if this was only for this event or if it will become a fix part of the shows supposed to come. Anyhow, a cool song with a certain party vibe ... something that continued for the coming two hours.

Compared to the "Firesoul" release shows, where the band performed the entire album, the five-piece played only four track from the new longplayer "Scary Creatures". The rest was a look back in time, a kind of Brainstorm 'Best of...'.

Next to the new tracks highlights in the setlist featured metal anthems such as "Shiva's Tears" and one of the best Brainstorm songs, "Highs without lows". But also rarely performed songs like "Blind suffering" (the band wasn't sure if, and if yes how often, they have ever played it live) have been a pleasure for each metal maniac. Having those band classics next to the new stuff also showed that Brainstorm stays true to themselves. The band developed their sound futher but also sticks to their identity and trademarks. New and old goes together very well, something this release show made very clear.

Brainstorm nailed down a 100 minutes long metal party that was expected from the fans, and the guys delivered. Torsten Ihlenfeld and his gang had obviously a lot of fun and enjoyed each minute of the show. There was action all over the stage combined with wild headbanging wherever you looked. This is real, this is metal.

The Swabian powerhouse finished their show with another real hymn. "All Those Words" from "Liquid Monster", a song with a big chorus, demanded the last energy of fans and band, a pearl that completed a great metal night in Giengen.

The Ostalb might not be the Bay Area. Anyhow, this region has bands that are internationally and nationally established. Brainstorm and Undertow are bands from this district and they are in the business since many years. Both bands proved that metal and Ostalb belongs together. 

After five hours of metal the last note was played, the fans have been happy and the winter was still there. Back into the snow, heated up by German metal. Horns up.

Live review BRAINSTORM/UNDERTOW/STEPFATHER FRED, ..., Giengen, 16.01.2016
Live review BRAINSTORM/UNDERTOW/STEPFATHER FRED, ..., Giengen, 16.01.2016
Live review BRAINSTORM/UNDERTOW/STEPFATHER FRED, ..., Giengen, 16.01.2016

Setlist Brainstorm

  1. The World To See
  2. Firesoul
  3. Fire Walk With Me
  4. How Much Can You Take
  5. Falling Spiral Down
  6. World`s Are Coming Through
  7. We Are...
  8. Shivas Tears
  9. End In Sorrow
  10. Scary Creatures
  11. Highs Without Lows
  12. Blind Suffering
  13. Surrounding Walls
  14. Blink Of An Eye
  15. Hollow Hideaway
  16. Inside A Monster
  17. How Do You Feel
  18. Shiver (Encore)
  19. All Those Words (Encore)

 

 

Setlist Undertow:

  1. Barefaced
  2. Stomping Out Ignorance
  3. Canvas Ghosts
  4. BoxSapedHeart
  5. Smoke Garden
  6. Threedouble Chime
  7. These Boots are Made for Stalking
  8. Beyond Dreaming
  9. File Under Unexpected
  10. Everember
  11. In Deepest Silence
  12. Crawler

 

Location: Walter-Schmid Halle, Giengen a.d. Brenz, Germany

Date: January 16th, 2016

 

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CD review BRAINSTORM "Scary Creatures"

Veröffentlicht am 29. Dezember 2015 von Markus W. in Brainstorm, Power Metal, News, CD Review, US Metal, Heavy Metal, Primal Fear

(8/10) New releases of Primal Fear, Axel Rudi Pell and Brainstorm in January. Wow. What a metallic start into the new year.

Swabian power metal institution Brainstorm has worked on their next milestone called "Scary Creatures" that will see the light of day mid January. Torsten Ihlenfeld and his power metal gang created an album that picks up the thread where the band stopped one and a half years ago with "Firesoul".

The first single" The World to See" kicks off the album. After a short cineastic intro it's the pounding rhythm and the heavy riffs that puts a spell on you. "How Much Can You Take" is also presenting all the Brainstorm trademarks before the speed is reduced with "We Are". A strong bassline is the foundation for this metal cracker that is traditional German metal at it's best. The cherry on this metal cake is the kids choir towards the end, something I haven't heard on a Brainstorm album before. The song might need a few runs but then it unveils its full beauty.

"Where the Angels Dream" doesn't seem to be a very peaceful place. The tune is one of the faster ones on the album and raging guitars accompany you from beginning to end. The number is a highlight on the record that shows Franck as well as the guitar duo Ihlenfeld/Loncaric at its best.

Time for the bombastic title track. A creepy vibe takes over from the first note and the additional classic samples give the tune another dimension. "Scary Creatures" is a worthy title track for the album and a theatric metal piece per excellence.

After such a midpace track something fast is needed; and "Twisted Ways" delivers, followed by a melodic stomper called "Caressed by the Blackness".

"Scars in Your Eyes" don't becloud the positive impression of this album. The song is a typcial Brainstorm anthem and the same goes for "Take Me to the Never", a track that works right off the bat.

The final musical piece is "Sky Among the Clouds" which is the most melodic one on the album. The tune is kept in a medium speed and it is charged with a catchy melodyline. The closer might be different from the rest of "Scary Creatures" but the rigid drive makes it to another cool number that fits on this longplayer.

"Scary Creatures" became the next highlight in the band's long history. The band will promote the album by a release show in Giengen, Germany on January 16th, before going on tour with Primal Fear and Striker in February 2016. Don't miss it.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The World to See
  2. How Much Can You Take
  3. We Are
  4. Where Angels Dream
  5. Scary Creatures
  6. Twisted Ways
  7. Caressed By the Blackness
  8. Scars in Your Eyes
  9. Take Me to the Never
  10. Sky Among the Clouds

 

Label: AFM

Genre: Power Metal

Release Date EU: January 15th, 2016

CD review BRAINSTORM "Scary Creatures"
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BRAINSTORM release show on 16.01.2016

Veröffentlicht am 12. Dezember 2015 von Markus W. in Brainstorm, Undertow, News, Power Metal, Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, Doom Metal, Tour, Live

German Brainstorm will play a release show for their upcoming album "Scary creatures" in Giengen/Brenz. Showtime is on Saturday 10.01.2016, supported by the mighty Undertow. 

BRAINSTORM release show on 16.01.2016
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New video from BRAINSTORM

Veröffentlicht am 4. Dezember 2015 von Markus W. in Brainstorm, Undertow, News, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Alternative Metal, Tour

German power metal flagship, Brainstorm, worked hard on their next album. "The World To See" is the first video, taken from the upcoming longplayer called "Scary Creatures". Release date is January 16th, 2016 and the release show will take place in the Walter Schmid Halle in Giengen/Brenz. Support is nobody less than the mighty Undertow. Check it out.

New video from BRAINSTORM
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CD review BOREALIS "Purgatory"

Veröffentlicht am 29. Juni 2015 von Markus W. in Borealis, Brainstorm, Evergrey, News, CD Review, Power Metal, Melodic Metal, Heavy Metal, Kamelot

(8/10) Metal from Canada means Annihilator when it comes to thrash, Anvil when it comes to metal and Rush when we talk about prog. Power metal wasn't so far something Canada was famous for. This might change with "Purgatory", the newest release from Boeralis.

The tracklist of Purgatory" contains 12 new songs that are positioned somewhere between melodic metal and power metal. In case you haven't heard from the five-piece before you should think about bands like Evergrey, Kamelot and Brainstorm.

The Ontario-based guys surprised me with their new album. "Purgatory" is not really a musical revolution. They joy of the album is more the immese power, the forceful production and the love for detail. 

The cherry on the cake with Borealis is their singer Matt Marinelli. The guy has an awesome voice that covers a range from higher screams up to rougher vocals. It is this wide range that allows an emotional interpretation of the tunes.

It's hard to pick out some songs since the level is constantly high. But there are a few tracks I really like after havingheard them a couple of times. "The chosen one" is one of them. The tune has a progressive tough by still sticking to the melodic metal roots. It also comes with a great solo and vocal lines that are catchy. The keyboards might be a bit dominant in certain parts, but they support the song and add something to the totality instead of weakening the positive impression.

Next to those signs of power Borealis also manage the silent parts. "Rest my child" is a soulful ballad that builds up towards the end. Instead of drowning in cliche the tune is touching and a great moment on "Puragtory".

Last but not least, the title track. I think that the number is well chosen for being the name giver for the longplayer. It combines all what Borealis stands for - power, crunchy riffs, big sounds, catchy melodies, heaviness and a skosh of prog.

The only thing that doesn't really gives me the shivers is the cover. But who cares...

"Purgatory" became a very 'European' power metal album, performed by a band from Canada. It's an excellent longplayer for intensive headbanging and I hope we will see th guys in Europe pretty soon. One of the best power metal records in 2015.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Past the veil
  2. From the ashes
  3. The chosen one
  4. Destiny
  5. Darkest sin
  6. My peace
  7. Place of darkness
  8. Welcome to eternity
  9. Sacrifice
  10. Rest my child
  11. Purgatory
  12. Revelation

 

Label: AFM 

Genre: Power Metal

Release date: Already released 

CD review BOREALIS "Purgatory"
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ALESTORM on tour with BRAINSTORM and CRIMSON SHADOW

Veröffentlicht am 21. August 2014 von Markus W. in Alestorm, Brainstorm, Crimson Shadow, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, News, Tour

Alestorm is on tour woth Swabian power metal institution Brainstorm and Crimson Shadow. Seems to be a stormy autumn.

Here are the dates:

ALESTORM on tour with BRAINSTORM and CRIMSON SHADOW
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Interview with Andy B. Franck from BRAINSTORM

Veröffentlicht am 8. April 2014 von Markus W. in Brainstorm, Power Metal, Heavy Metal, News, Interview

A few days before Brainstorm released their new album "Firesoul" I had the chance to have a chat with singer Andy B. Franck. We talked about the new album, the heaviness of the "Firesoul" and the release shows. It was interesting things Andy had to tell. Enjoy reading the interview:

 

Markus' Heavy Music Blog: Hi Andy, How are you?

 
Andy B. Franck: Hi Markus, I’m good thanks. I hope everything’s OK with you too.
 
MHMB: Yes, everything’s OK over here in Holland. How is it with Brainstorm?
Must be very exciting weeks for you guys with the new album in the pipeline.
 
Andy: Indeed. We are very happy at this moment and very satisfied with the new album. We had of course some expectation when it comes to „Firestorm“, but I have to say that we are impressed about the really positive reactions so far. This came almost a bit unexpected, but it’s a very nice situation. Since we also had it with earlier albums a bit of the other way round we are very glad this time with the positive feedback.
 
MHMB: I fully agree. The new album sounds almost like in the earlier days of Brainstorm, esp. since the last two albums have been a bit more complex and  interlaced. Therefore it was a good experience to listen to a Brainstorm album which is raising hell.
 
Andy: Right. I think there are periods in the life of a band when you think that you can change and adjust a few thing here and there. But in the end the fans want to hear from a band what they appreciated from the beginning. Actually this is also what you can do best as a band - doing what you’re grown up with. There is a saying: 'cobbler stick you your last‘ and that also goes for a band. I also don't think that the last two records have been bad. Not at all. We tried out new things and left a bit the save road we have been on for so many years. But the songs and the sound of the new album fits us better and we are back on track.
 
MHMB: It was on a morning car ride when I heard the album for the first time and I can tell you that I was immediately awake. The songs are heavy, rocking and melodic. That was a cool experience and what I understand from you is, that it was a conscious decision of the band to go back to roots.
 
Andy: Yes. Actually we already started to think about the „Firesoul“ songs during the last tour. We had to decide on the setlist for the shows and it was sometimes hard to find the right songs from the newer records since it was not easy to reproduce them on stage in the best way. That was an indication for us, that we might have made some of the tunes too much studio based. We went into the studio with songs which haven’t been totally ready. We used the time there to finalize these tracks. That had the effect, that due to all the technical possibilities in the studio everything sounded great. But it’s another story if you have to play the songs live. Therefore we decided this time to spend more time in the rehearsal room. We worked on the new material till we got so far that we could say: now the songs are 100% worked out and they fit. That’s why we had to postpone the album a couple of times, but we think that the result was worth it. Those songs are now exactly how we wanted them to be and they are perfect for playing them live.
 
MHMB: You mentioned the last tour; if I have it right in mind you have been supporting Primal Fear at that time. Interesting enough they also released a heavier and more straight forward album a few weeks ago. You could be tempted to think, that both bands inspired each other for a more heavier record.
 
Andy: We had awesome tours with Primal Fear and we had a lot of fun too. Last time we actually have been together for two tours at which the second one has been the even more successful one. With such a positive tour vibe, combined with the reaction of the fans for the song like e.g. from „Liquid monster“, it’s easier to go back to the songwriting and deliver basic heavy stuff. 
Photo: AFM Records (Promo)

Photo: AFM Records (Promo)

MHMB: And you HAVE this heavy stuff on the album. Tracks like „Shadowseeker“ and „Descendants of the fire“ are real highlights. Talking about those song; I have the feeling that I can hear a bit of Judas Priest here and there. Is that correct?
 
Andy: You know, we are playing heavy metal. The principles and the base is mostly similar or even the same. You can’t really do a lot of fancy new stuff. You can tweak things a bit here and there, but there will be in one or another way often a comparison with more established bands. And of course Judas Priest was one of them. They can be seen, together with bands like e.g. Iron Maiden, as the founders for the whole genre. Due to that you can call those bands as an inspiration for us and we see it as an honor to be compared with these icon bands. Priest actually knows about us and they have been asked once in an interview, which bands they think are exciting. That was about 10 years ago and they mentioned, next to a few other bands, also Brainstorm. Therefore I don’t have any issue with a comparison with Judas Priest. Not at all.
 
MHMB: Being mentioned by those guys sounds really great. Talking about the songs, how did the songwriting go this time?
 
Andy: Basically it was the same procedure as always. Todde and Milan, our two guitarists, came with the basic idea and we worked those further out together with the whole band. My focus is than more on the lyrics and the vocal lines. That’s our standard way and we also want to keep it like that since it works out pretty well. The difference was, as mentioned already, not in the songwriting - it was in the time we spend in the rehearsal room.
 
MHMB: You mentioned that you take care about the lyrics. Wherefrom do you take the inspiration for those?
 
Andy: As soon as I know that we are heading for new songs and a new record I start to follow news, magazins and documentaries even more intensively than normally. I’m trying to get some more background information about certain topics in order to understand things in a better way. That means that I take my inspiration from real life - politics, religion and human interaction. Those are our Brainstorm topics. We are not in a fantasy world, we are in the here and now.
 
MHMB: Let’s talk a few minutes about the cover of „Firestorm“. It seems that you guys wanted to create a package which goes back into the 2003 - 2005 days. It reminded me  to e.g. „Metus mortis“ and „Soul temptation“.
 
Andy: It was a conscious step towards a new cover designer. I think that we got great covers in the past and we took now the next step. We had the feeling that, based on the spirit in the band, this was needed. Felipe (Machado Franco) is a big fan of the band and has offered already in past to do a cover for one of our records. So, we talked to him and described a bit our thoughts and what he did based on this input is what you can see on the cover of „Firesoul“. That it looks a bit similar to „Soul temptation“ surprised us actually as well, but it was good surprise.
Photo: AFM Records (Promo)

Photo: AFM Records (Promo)

MHMB: After a break of 7-8 years you also worked again together with Achim Koehler as producer. How did that happen?
 
Andy: We turned the time back (he said with a smile). After we had a good time during the recordings of „Downburst“ and „Memorial roots“ together with Sascha (Paeth) in Wolfsburg we decided to work this time again with Achim. After he heard the new material for the first time he also said immediately that he wants to do this. Since he produced some of our earlier records and since he also was on tour with us, we know him very well. So we agreed pretty fast to do the album together. Based on a good understanding for each other, Achim was aware from the beginning what we wanted and we knew what to expect from him. Therefore we could focus on the music from the very first minute on without spending time into a „we need to get familiar with each other“ period.
 
MHMB: Brainstorm will promote the new album with four release shows. Can you tell us more about the shows (the interview was done in front of the shows).
 
Andy: We actually planned in the beginning to play two shows. But in the end it became four concerts, which are really special ones as well. We will play the entire new album during those shows. It doesn’t happen very often to play the whole album, but since we are really proud of the new tracks we decided to go for all of them during those four gigs. This is doubtless an exciting thing for us, since we have to play one hour completely new material. That demanded a bit of rehearsal, but it's special and it makes fun. And last but not least it is a kind of 25 years celebration fro the band too.
 
MHMB: True, Brainstorm exists 25 years this year. Are there more special events that we can expect?
 
Andy: We’re doing the four shows, but we haven’t planned extra things so far. And it’s not only 25 years of Brainstorm. It is also the tenth record and I’m teasing the other guys a bit with ‚15 years Andy B. Franck‘ in the band too (he smiles). So it is three anniversaries in one year. This is quite funny, but it also shows how fast time goes by. We have seen a lot of bands coming and going in all those years and we are very happy to be still in business with Brainstorm. 
 
MHMB: Beside the release shows, how about a tour for the new album? I have seen that you are playing some festivals during summer. Is there more in the pipeline?
 
Andy: We will be most probably on tour in autumn, during September and October, but nothing is signed yet. We hope that all works out well.
 
MHMB: That sounds good. I hope that also Holland is on the list.
 
Andy: As far as it looks right now we will come to Holland even for two shows.
 
MHMB: That sounds great. I hope to see you during the shows. Andy, thanks a lot for the interview. It was great talking to you and say regards to the other guys.
 
Andy: You’re welcome and thanks for having me. See you in autumn during the shows.
 
 
 
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Unique BRAINSTORM tourshirt

Veröffentlicht am 5. April 2014 von Markus W. in Brainstorm, Power Metal, Heavy Metal, Tour, News

Brainstorm sells during their four show release tour a unique shirt which can be only bough during those four shows. This is how the front looks. Check out the show. There are two more dates to go.

Photo: Thomas Wiedenmann

Photo: Thomas Wiedenmann

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CD review BRAINSTORM "Firesoul"

Veröffentlicht am 23. März 2014 von Markus W. in Brainstorm, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, News, CD Review

(8/10) It's always a pleasure to listen to a new album from Swabian power metal institution Brainstorm. This has for me mainly two reasons. First of all the band released always excellent records with straight forward heavy metal tracks. Secondly Brainstorm has its origins in my hometown - Heidenheim. 

"Firesoul" is the name of the new album from five guys and I think that the title couldn't have been chosen better. It seems to me that the metal flame is still burning in the heart and soul of the Swabian metal band. They managed to keep the fire burning through the 25 years history of Brainstrom.

"Firesoul" is record number ten in the bands discography. As we mentioned earlier, discs from Brainstorm have been always very relevant. This continues also on the new album. "Firesoul" takes care about the typical Brainstrom trademarks. Massive riffs from the guitar duo Ihlenfeld/Loncaric, great vocal lines by Andy B. Franck and a solid rhythm foundation by Bernert and Ieva are the guarantor of powerful metal songs.

To use an old cliche: 'the album has no fillers, just killers'. The ten tracks are real aural treats.

Photo: AFM Records (Promo)

Photo: AFM Records (Promo)

Already the opener "Erased by the dark" is pure power. A typical Brainstorm song which includes also a smaller orchestral instrumentation in the beginning. "Firesoul", the title track, choses the same direction. The song is build on an immensive riff and a melodic chorus. No time to beathe, since the next tune screams for your attention. The fast "Descendants of the fire" shows the heavy roots of the band.

I could continue like this since all the songs are from excellent quality. "What grows inside" is another example. the song comes slamming out of your speaker and hits you directly.

Cool album and if I should say it in the Facebook language: "I like"

(8/10)

CD review BRAINSTORM "Firesoul"

Tracklist:

  1. Erased by the dark
  2. Firesoul
  3. Descendants of the fire
  4. Entering solitude
  5. Recall the real
  6. Shadowseaker
  7. Feed me lies
  8. What grows inside
  9. The chosen
  10. ... and I wonder

 

Label: AFM Records

Genre: Power Metal

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BRAINSTORM tour dates

Veröffentlicht am 23. März 2014 von Markus W. in Brainstorm, Bloodhound, Gun Barrel, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, News, Tour

German power metal quintet Brainstorm will play four release shows in April for the new album "Firesoul". There will be also special Merch available during those gigs - as long as the stock lasts.

Brainstorm will be supported by Bloodhound and Gun Barrel.

BRAINSTORM tour dates
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Cover and tracklist from the new BRAINSTORM album

Veröffentlicht am 17. Januar 2014 von Markus W. in Brainstorm, Power Metal, News

German power metal maniacs Brainstorm revealed the first details of their coming album called "Firestorm". The release date will be April 4th.

Here is the cover of the album and the tracklist:

  1. Erased By The Dark...
  2. Firesoul
  3. Descendants Of The Fire
  4. Entering Solitude
  5. Recall The Real
  6. Shadowseeker
  7. Feed Me Lies
  8. What Grows Inside
  9. The Chosen
  10. … And I Wonder
Cover and tracklist from the new BRAINSTORM album
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News from BRAINSTORM about album and shows

Veröffentlicht am 8. Januar 2014 von Markus W. in Brainstorm, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, News, Tour

Swabian power metal band Brainstorm is working on their new album. The name will be "Firesoul" and will be released on April 4th via AFM Records. The band planned already 4 gigs in Germany to promote the new album.

 

Here are the dates:

03. April 2014 DE – München, Backstage

04. April 2014 DE – Aalen, Rock It

05. April 2014 DE – Essen, Turock

06. April 2014 DE – Darmstadt, Steinbruch Theater

News from BRAINSTORM about album and shows
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