Zero to Rage
Style: Heavy Metal
Release date: 14 November, 2011
Playing time: 71:45

How new and thrilling does NWOBHM feel in 2011?? The heavy metal band Stormzone from Belfast, N Ireland does play it as it was back in the 80s. Big influences of Iron Maiden, Saxon and Judas Priest with tracks which are over 6 minutes long. This IS heavy metal with big love for the genre and it took me 6 or 8 spins to figure it out. The marvelous guitar solos and the lead heavy drum action makes this really enjoyable. The energy and desire to convey their fast and guitar based metal makes me tolerate to the lack of vocal effort. The classic double guitars create a sound wall with nice tempo changes and a solid HM feelings.

John "Harv" Harbinson is not one of the greatest singer I've ever heard, but in this constallation it's OK because the main factor is the consistency of the guitars and the rythm section. 'Zero to Rage' is their 3rd studio album and the musical development is going in the right direction. In "Where We Belong" the guitars is so sharp as they was forged and twisted in hell and it has a classic "easy to learn" chorus. Davy Bates on the drums is worth a special tribute through the whole album and of course the both guitar players: Keith Harris and Steve Moore who must live together in order to be able to play so well together.

"Jester's Laughter" is one of my favourite tracks on the album with some progressive touch in it and the following strong song "This Is Your Victory" contains big semilarities with the Iron Maiden sound specially in the guitar part and Harv's voice really get in the right mode in this track. "Fear Hotel" is a little darker metal track with mega heavy guitar intro which changes into a lightweight song, pale and unintresting, but a wonderful solo in the middle spices the song up quite alot. As I said before the guitars is the salvation and in "Hail the Brave" it's the greate middle part again which rescues this track from the skip button. "Uprising" is only in for just over 3 minutes and I think that they could left this song in the rehearsal  studio. In the long (7:30) "Last Man Standing" the outrageously sparkling guitars get all the points in spite of poor lyrics.

Overall it has been joyful hours of listening to Stormzone's album and as a fan of the 80s rock, it's always nice to discover a new band that takes the tradition forward. It's not a innovative or a demanding disc, it's simply a good straight forward HM album.

01. Where We Belong
. Zero To Rage
. Jester's Laughter
. This Is Our Victory
. Fear Hotel
. Hail The Brave
. Uprising
. Last Man Fighting
. Empire Of Fear
. Monsters
. Voice Inside My Head
. Cuchulainn's Story
Label: SPV/Steamhammer
Distribution: Playground Music (Scandinavia)
Artwork rating: 85/100
Reviewed by: Patrik Skoglund
Date: 19 October, 2011