Brainstorm - _Downburst_
(Metal Blade Records, 2008)
by: Jackie Smit (
Note to record labels: stop with the goddamn voice-overs already! Pretty please. With sugar on top. I doubt that the cheapskates are going to be put off their downloading by a random female voice reminding you that you're listening to the forthcoming Brainstorm record anyway. But lest I allow such draconian methods of dissuading music thievery to cloud my opinion of this German troupe's seventh full-length, I digress. As it turns out, Brainstorm's latest starts off on a high note; "Falling Spiral Down" is a rousing vintage metal barnburner, hinting at the finest moments off W.A.S.P.'s _Dying for the World_ with Rob Halford handling the microphone. Sadly, the creative peak only lasts so long. By the time "Fire Walk With Me" has launched into a suspiciously glam chorus, a giant question mark has already etched itself into the very fibres of the disc, and unfortunately neither "Stained With Sin" nor its follow-up, "Redemption In Your Eyes" does much to change the record's fortunes.There are moments when the band's undeniable talent flairs up and something as solid as the superlative "Surrounding Walls" pops out of the woodwork. But ultimately it does it little to change the fact that _Downburst_ makes for an uneven listen at best, and perhaps more disappointingly, could only ever be seen as a something of a missed opportunity for a band who are clearly capable of better.
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