|Genre||Heavy Power Metal|
|Release Date||24 May 2019|
Stormhammer is here with a reinvented sound and new vocalist in their seventh album: Seven Seals. After six albums, you’d think that maybe it’s all downhill from here, but, as so many metal bands prove time and time again, metal gets even harder with age. Seven Seals is a riff-heavy mixup of different types of metal, which makes for a dynamic experience that has plenty to offer.
Although the musical influences of Seven Seals are vast, the overall sound of the album is harsher, grittier, and harder than your typical power metal album. This is mostly due to the lack of refinement and absence of any keyboards that are both so prevalent in the genre, so we’re left with a raw sound that’s more characteristic of thrash than anything else. Tracks like ‘Under the Spell’ and ‘Seven Seals’ are fairly straightforward power metal songs, but again, lacking those usual power elements, they’ve got a serious edge.
Venturing way out of the way, we get tracks like ‘Your Nemesis’, ‘Deal with the Dead’, and ‘Downfall’, which are nearly crumbling over the weight of their breakdowns and melodic death metal attributes, and, of course, the obligatory ballad of ‘Taken by the Devil’.
Now, before we get to the not-so-good aspects, let me just take a second to say how much better Matthias Kupka‘s vocal performance is than Stormhammer’s former voices. Each growl and rough-vocalled verse is fucking colossal and he commands an impressive amount of versatility with his voice. He carries the catchy melodies with authority and the vocal harmonies are done really well. There’s really no contest when comparing him to the numerous prior vocalists of Stormhammer.
But, as it usually goes, there are some setbacks that prevent Seven Seals from breaking into a score of eight. A few of the tracks, namely ‘Downfall’, ‘Keep Me Safe’, and ‘Old Coals’, are very straightforward and don’t really add anything to the album. Likewise, while most of the songs are really good, there’s only one which I’d call exceptional (which, by the way, is the aforementioned ‘Your Nemesis’).
This is a really cool album. The melodies are strong and the beefy riffs are many. Nothing jumps out as amazing here, but the musicianship is great and most of the songs offer something different. For a band called “Stormhammer”, this pretty much sounds exactly how you’d expect it to.
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