A&GS has been lucky enough to be around for five years now. And in that time we’ve also had the good fortune of discovering some great bands that would have otherwise escaped our radar completely. One of these bands is BRAINSTORM. Admittedly in 2013 I knew nothing of them but thanks to the always-wonderful Dustin Hardman at AFM Records I was able to discover a whole slew of groups I was missing out on, like these guys. Their 2014 record Firesoul and 2016’s Scary Creatures were both very well-received here at HQ. And now here we are, with brand new album Midnight Ghost (out now, AFM Records…Pay attention!) that serves up a 10-course meal of European Power Metal sure to satisfy your hunger for the heavy!
It’s no secret how much I love Andy B. Franck’s vocals (and that ultra-fucking-cool name of his!) and once he again he does NOT disappoint, especially on opener “Devil’s Eye.” Guitarists Torsten Ihlenfeld and Milan Loncaric continue to make six-string magic while Antonio Ieva and Dieter Bernert (bass and drums respectively) call down the thunder and lightning. “The Pyre” was/is a personal favorite right away. I defy you not to wreck your neck headbanging to this beast of a song. You like it fast with some double kick drum pounding you in the chest? Then this is one for you, no question. Ihlenfeld and Loncaric go OFF on this one, too.
The groove and meaty riffage of “Divine Inner Ghost” make the song another standout, and it’s also heavy as balls while managing to have such a great hook I keep coming back for more. And once again, the dual harmonized guitar leads land perfectly. “Four Blessings” has a JUDAS PRIEST-like quality to it, something I always enjoy, while “Haunting Voices” ups the heavy ante considerably. Again, props to Ihlenfeld and Loncaric, as well as Franck on the chorus. There is also an epic here in the form of “Jeanne Boulet (1764)”, clocking in at 7:47 and taking the listener on a riff-infused journey back in time.
Closer “The Path” is muy interesante because it is a bit different from the rest of the record, slowing things down, but still retaining an anthemic feel. So what does all of this mean? It means that this is my third album cycle with BRAINSTORM, and I can honestly say that Midnight Ghost is my favorite of the three so far. I found this to be a highly enjoyable record from beginning to end, and one I recommend picking up today if you haven’t already.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Divine Inner Ghost”, “Devil’s Eye”, “The Pyre”, “Haunting Voices”