Rating:
6.9
Brainstorm - Firesoul
4 April 2014


01. Erased By The Dark
02. Firesoul
03. Descendants Of The Fire
04. Entering Solitude
05. Recall The Real
06. Shadowseeker
07. Feed Me Lies
08. What Grows Inside
09. The Chosen
10. And I Wonder


It's a crying shame that Brainstorm never seem to produce a studio effort which captures their edgy sound par excellence. Album after album they never really managed to write stellar material which outshines their power metal contemporaries, despite their general aptitude for studio performances. What they have managed, however, is a rigidly consistent discography that occupies a middling yet reliable road. Firesoul is a continuation of this.

Despite the score I've given, Firesoul contains some of the band's best song writing in some time, edging above the band's more recent releases such as 2011's On The Spur Of The Moment, which ultimately failed to live long in the memory. Performance wise, Brainstorm are set apart by the unusual and individual vocal stylings of Andy B. Franck and the situation of their sound at the heavier end of power metal, as well as the rather dark vibe which the rest of the band brings to the table. However, and to be frank (apologies for the pun), it's always been the vocals which offer the band their most obvious distinguishable feature.

Firesoul recalls the band at their best on efforts of their mid-era such as Liquid Monster and Soul Temptation, but unfortunately doesn't capture the same degree of melodic hooks. The under layering of effects and a subtle symphonic presence establishes some well needed variety, but is somewhat understated. On the other hand, it doesn't detract from what the band always manage to do; provide rarely deviating melodic metal, all with their own well established and characteristic style. Brainstorm have always managed to produce a rather individualistic sound within the genre, which is their most obvious quality. A unique presence within power metal isn't common, and this band always manage to set themselves apart very well.

However, this album is nothing new for them. Something of a comeback as far as song writing goes, but ultimately it offers exactly what fans would expect. The production douses the flame of these tunes to a significant extent, the rhythms coming across as dully pulsating and fixed, rather than generously vibrant.

In the end this certainly isn't a disappointing listen in its entirety, especially for fans, who will likely enjoy the return to a similar vibe as some of the band's most favoured studio efforts. Firesoul is a continuation of the band's general consistency and ultimately offers more of the same.

Performance: 7
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 5
Production: 7


Band profile: Brainstorm
Album: Firesoul


 



Written on 10.05.2014 by
R'Vannith
R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.
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Enemy of Reality - 12.05.2014 at 16:09  
I don't think it's more of the same. Memorial Roots was a more disperse and even progressive material, On the Spur of the Moment was quite poor on good riffs and in Downburst they went US power metal as they could go, discharacterizing the band imo. This new record is like Liquid Monster: more straightforward and focused in good riffs and choruses.
About originality, of course it's not very original. When was the last time someone heard something original in the power metal genre? 2003 Lost Horizon's A Flame to the Ground Beneath probably? Brainstorm managed to create a very distinctive sound, and this record is actually a great return to form after 3 meh albums.
FelixtheMetalcat - 05.06.2014 at 17:55  
Originality is overrated.....not sure what people think a power metal band like Brainstorm would need to do to sound original, add a flute? They do what they do & do it well & yes, Andy Franck's superb vocals are what sets this band apart.
I for one have enjoyed every album of their since getting on board with Soul Temptation & actually thought that Spur of the Moment was quite good as it had a little more aggression. In any event, it seems that in fairness this should be a good listen for these ears based on what I am reading since Brainstorm really doesn't produce a bad album per se. We'll just have to see how well it sits in my memory banks for the future.

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