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Brainstorm - "On The Spur Of The Moment" (CD)

Brainstorm - "On The Spur Of The Moment" CD cover image

"On The Spur Of The Moment" track listing:

1. Below The Line
2. In The Blink Of An Eye
3. Temple Of Stone
4. In These Walls
5. Still Insane
6. Dark Life
7. No Saint - No Sinner
8. Where Your Actions Lead You To Live
9. A Life On Hold
10. My Own Hell
11. The Pain Is Mine (Bonus Track)
12. The Heartless Spawn Of Seed (Bonus Track)

Reviewed by on October 24, 2011

"After slight apprehension from the start, Brainstorm quickly restored my faith in a band that still has so much to offer, ranking at the top of the German power metal scene with country mates Primal Fear."

Germany's Brainstorm is back with "On the Spur of the Moment," which gains back some of the heaviness consumed on "Memorial Roots" (2009), but still falls a bit short of reclaiming the greatness that was "Downburst" (2008). Recently, Brainstorm has been mired in a bit of a commercial power outage. However, when the band released the video for "Where Your Actions Lead You to Live" in advance of this release, there was hope for a return to the band's dominance. After a slow start, the band makes colossal strides toward that aim.

"Below the Line" should be the tone setter, but this near seven minute mid-pacer is presage for flatness, since the song ironically falls "below the line" of the band's own precedent. The song would have resonated much better further down the track list, especially with the Matrix like synths in the last two minutes (which your author was diggin'). Fortunately, the album is exceptional from this point on.

The second track "In the Blink of An Eye" is the album's stalwart with a perfect power riff. This would have made an ideal spark, setting a more befitting tone to this release. This song magnificently captures the essence of true power metal, with a feel of a more recent Jag Panzer (R.I.P.) style to it. Equally as strong is the album’s crushing finisher "My Own Hell," which represents a more mature modern power metal sound, the speed anchored in favor of a more unyielding, yet soothing beat. The song is the perfect closer, an epic iconic anthem in the vein of later Iced Earth with a stellar performance by vocalist Andy Franck.

Other winners are "Temple of Stone," with equally infectious power riffs (especially the beefy one just back from the solo), the throwback head bangin' speedster "A Life On Hold," and "Dark Life:" another crushing power tune. The album's most intriguing track is "No Sinner - No Saint," which starts with a ballad lure and then erupts into a riff choker. The chorus soars as the band smacks your face with power riff after power riff.

Take it from this author, after listening to so much female-fronted symphonic metal, pure German power metal is the perfect chaser! After slight apprehension from the start, Brainstorm quickly restored my faith in a band that still has so much to offer, ranking at the top of the German power metal scene with country mates Primal Fear.

Bonus Track Coverage: If you are able to pick up the limited edition, you will be treated with the bonus tracks "The Pain is Mine" and "The Heartless Spawn of Seed." The former is one of the best tracks that Brainstorm has written and could have easily have been part of the album.

Highs: A return to power from a commercial break.

Lows: Bad opening track choice..."Below the Line" fails to capture the essence of the rest of the album.

Bottom line: After a 55 minute commercial break, we now bring you Brainstorm's real "memorial roots."

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)