STORMZONE – THREE KINGS (Metal Nation Records)
(Review by Patrick De Sloover)
I know this band from their debut album “Caught In The Act” (released in 2007) and their third album “Zero To Rage” from 2011. Especially, their first album was a top notch product as the balance between melody and heaviness melted together as a supreme lightning bolt. The vocal range of John Harbinson fits with the arrangements and his voice is capable to lift the songs to a higher level. When I got the chance to see the band live, it took about 8 hours to get to Würzburg in Germany to attend the third edition of Metal Assault Festival in February 2013. Stormzone travelled from Ireland to Germany to play with bands like Attacker, Brocas Helm, Antichrist, Possessor and headliner Manilla Road, but at the end of the day, it was undeniable that Stormzone was one of the best acts that day! Their live enthusiasm, the skilled musicians and above all, the throat of ex-Sweet Savage vocalist John resulted in a gig that pleased all attendees. When I received their fourth album “Three Kings”, my attention was aroused and deep within my heart, I hoped to hear a logical continuation of “Zero To Rage” and of course ‘Caught In The Act’.
“Three Kings” was already released as an exclusive new video, which can be seen on the You Tube channel, and you will get a perfect idea what to expect on the new album. The Steve Harris lookalike John incites the band and the strings of Steve Moore and David Shields cause severe neck muscles attacks! This band loves to play their music, this band isn’t tendentious following a musical path to success, as they prefer to bring their metal with honesty and respect. While drummer Davy Bates abuses his drumheads the interaction with bass player Graham McNulty continues to enforce the songs to great Heavy Metal highlights! This is what I like in Heavy Metal: honesty and with a personal touch without exaggerating. Stormzone fulfills any expectations with flying colors!
Tracks like ‘Spectre’, ‘Alive’, ‘Night Of The Storm’ are exactly what a metal head is looking for, and once and a while, I have flashbacks to the great New Wave Of Heavy Metal era. Great hooks, outstanding chorus lines and pumping riffs deliver tracks that can compete with the material on the ‘Caught In The Act’ album. The album drops in a little in the middle with a track like ‘I Am The One’, which I personally consider as a failure and filler, but luckily the next track ‘Wallbreaker’ is getting this band on the right track again! Their new anthem might be ‘B.Y.H.’ as Bang Your Heads will be the result at live show!
Metal Nation Records is a relatively new label, but with Jess Cox (remember Tygers Of Pan Tang and of course Neat Records) as owner, they know where the talent is present! Metal Nation did a good move to sign this band, as they are worth to be heard, and if you get the chance to see them live: don’t hesitate and witness a brilliant live show! Stormzone will leave no stage untouched or unblemished, as they will tear down the roof of every club, venue or festival! Being on the road with bands like Sebastian Bach, Saxon, Little Angels, White Lion, Winger, Tesla, Y&T and LA Guns results in a tight show that a lot of people will appeal. They have the charisma, they have the potential, and from now on, they have the songs!
My rating: 86 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard
50- : Rubbish