I always love to receive a brand new Brainstorm album to review and it was with
great anticipation that I listened to "Memorial Roots". On first listen I
noticed a very different change, the power & speed has gone. Now is this a bad
thing or a good thing? I will try to explain. To me it was getting very hard to
tell the difference between "Brainstorm" & Andy .B. Frank's other band "Symphorce"
- they were melting into one band, it is good to see "Brainstorm" pull it back a
notch or two and become more melodic and straight ahead Heavy Metal. I can hear
a lot of influence from Iron Maiden on "Memorial Roots" especially at the
beginning of “The Conjunction of 7 Planets” sounds like the start of the song
"Fear of the Dark".
Now on the other hand there will be a few disappointed fans out there if they
only give "Memorial Roots" a quick listen or two, like I was. But, fortunately,
I am quite a big fan of Brainstorm and I owed it to myself to give this album
more of a chance and I am so glad I did. The only little thing I could say that
is wrong with this album is the guitar sound is missing something. It doesn't
have that "knock you on your ass" sound like previous Brainstorm albums. But I
am sure live these new songs will kick your ass. Andy .B. Frank is outstanding
on vocals as usual, he is becoming one of Metals big voices and I would put him
up there with the best.
Opener "Forsake What You Believe" is the weakest track, which is unusual for
Brainstorm; they normally leave you breathless after the first song. Although it
is not a bad song. "Shiver" is the first speedy song that is trademark
Brainstorm. But the last 6 songs see the band at its peak. "Blood Still Stains"
& "The Final Stages of Decay" is another of the more epic numbers and dripping
with melodies, by far my favourite tracks. Maybe with a bigger and heavier
guitar sound this would have been another great album by one of Metals great
bands, but it will only be a good album & my score shows that. I personally
think Andy's vocal performance on "Memorial Roots" is the only thing saving this