Brainstorm – Memorial Roots

By the power of Greyskull... I have the power!
By Rob Kachluba

Along with Matt Barlow, vocalist Andy Franck of Brainstorm is one of the more unique and better singers in the power metal genre and without him, Brainstorm’s sixth album Memorial Roots would have been just an average album at best. He really does his best to lift a lot of these tired, uninspired songs with dull, straight guitar riffs and simplistic drumming. Openers “Forsake What I Believe” and “Shiver” are prime examples. They are really average openers where the band should be coming out of the blocks firing on all cylinders. Instead they seem to just plod along with little interest. Things really don’t really get much better as the album moves along with tired riffing and formulaic verse chorus verse structures. It is not until track number eight, “The Final Stages of Decay,” and onwards that things do look up. It becomes an almost entirely different album all together. High energy songs with machine gun riffing dominate from here on, not to mention maybe their best song ever in album closer “Would You,” which has a chorus to die for. I’m sure Brainstorm fans will eat this up, but for me I’ll go back to Metus Mortis to hear Brainstorm at their best instead.

(AFM Records)

Rating: 6.5

Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.