Stormhammer - _Fireball_
(Century Media, 2000)
by: Paul Schwarz (3 out of 10)
Try to picture this. Myself, Pedro, Matthias and David (the European CoC Contingent of the time) are perusing various albums, recent and well-aged, at Mr. Rocher's abode, in Brittany. Matthias, with a hint of amused trepidation, asks if he can spin this, Century Media's latest entry into the true metal resurgence movement. After a few bars of Helloween cut 'n' paste riffs to which we all look despairingly at each other, I sarcastically put in, "I wonder what the vocals will be like?". As Kai Hansen's carbon copy begins his high-pitched melodic wailing, Matthias' face displays visible disgust. "This makes me feel ashamed to be German", he exclaims. I put in, again sarcastically, "Yeah, isn't it funny? We get -six- Helloween albums a year these days". "More like 60", is Matthias' quick-fire reply. The above are first impressions, but they sum up _Fireball_ adequately. There may be a decent lick here and there, the band may not be -atrocious- songwriters, but Jesus H Fucking Christ, I think we have had E-fucking-nough of true fucking power metal fucking rehash. There was enough before HammerFall kicked off this mass resurrection of over-melodic metal; there was more than enough two years ago. Now, there is ludicrously far and away too much, and the output of the "genre" is getting worse and lazier. And the albums are getting longer! I find Stormhammer hard enough to tolerate for a few songs; listening to all 55 minutes of this creative dinosaur gives me the martyred feeling of suffering for my art -- whether my writing matches up to that description is your opinion, but I doubt anyone would claim such a classification should apply to this unoriginal dross. The world needs no more superfluous rehash; we don't need more than one Helloween; we certainly don't need more than one HammerFall, especially with under-par vocals.

(article published 8/12/2000)


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