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StormWarrior – Heading Northe

Label: Locomotive Records
Format: CD
Released: 2008
Reviewed By: Kevin Alba
When it comes to a band like StormWarrior I am in no way expecting the wheel to be reinvented. The way hard rock newcomers Airbourne are influenced and take after AC/DC or a band like The Sword takes after Black Sabbath is how StormWarrior is to Gamma Ray and Helloween. Going in listening to this band and knowing ahead of time what you are going to get makes for just plain simple fun and enjoyment to the ears. .

‘Heading Northe’ is the bands third album and what I really liked was, aside from the Helloween and Gamma Ray influence which is a given, I can hear a lot of Running Wild. This is very evident in the opening track “Heading Northe” as I am reminded of albums like “Under Jolly Roger” and “Port Royal” and this influence carries on throughout the album. Instead of singing about pirates like Running Wild does, StormWarrior is very much into the whole Viking/battles in the north type of theme which makes them unique for power/speed metal as you typically hear this kind of topic in more extreme forms of metal as it was pioneered by black metal legends Bathory and made famous by death metal stalwarts Amon Amarth. “The Holy Cross” is a seven plus minute epic and perhaps the highlight of the album as it delivers on all accounts. The very beginning of the track features the sound of horses marching across a dirt ground giving the song a very real feel amd a very cool touch.

What I truly love about StormWarrior is that they are not afraid to admit who their influences are and wear them proudly on their sleeves. I can’t say the same for another band who goes by the name of Dragonforce as I do enjoy their music, though unfortunately have rarely hear the band mention Helloween or Gamma Ray as an influence. Perhaps they are afraid that the video game generation of Guitar Hero fans in North America will figure out that they are not the first band to play this style? Kudos to StormWarrior for giving credit where credit is due all of these years and for releasing another solid platter of enjoyable Power/Speed Metal.

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