F U L L . R E V I E W S



Brainstorm
On the Spur of the Moment

Company: AFM Records
Release: 2011
Genre: Power
Reviewer: EC

  • Doesn’t push the envelope



  • I think too much too often is not a good thing. Case in point being record number nine in a fifteen year career for Brainstorm. Germany's higher tiered power thrash act have pushed out over a hundred songs, all fairly cohesive and uniform in their branding of melodic metal. I think that is way too many songs, too many riffs and too many albums at this point. It would be different if the band was a Dark Tranquility or an Opeth type of act that have refined their sound, modified it through the years to be more innovative and inspiring. Nevertheless "On The Spur Of The Moment" (aptly titled) finds the band back at it, this time around married to new label AFM Records.

    The guys chose little known producer in Axel Heckert and his Studio 22. I really wish they had the budget/backing to try something experimental with the sound. The band do branch out some with the effective modern scope of "Temple Of Stone". I love the moshy Cathedral meets Paradise Lost riff and the chorus is an addictive sing along. The Paradise Lost styled keys are a nice touch on opener "Below The Line", complete with the band's signature layered vocals and subtle Goth touches. "In These Walls" uses the effective keyboards again, moving along to a fairly up-tempo melodic number punctuated by those big chorus bits that make Brainstorm enjoyable. "Still Insane" does the same sort of formula with a catchy Dokken styled guitar riff.

    The fault lies in the fact that half the record is just downright boring. Songs like "Dark Life" and "Where Your Actions Lead You" just plod along with the casual double bass, washing machine riffs and Franck's "wasted" strong vocals. Mix this with really ineffective tracks like "A Life On Hold" and "My Own Hell" and the fact that the band really doesn’t push the envelope for record number nine…well it just leaves me wanting more out of this group. I think the major issue here is just failure to move beyond standard Brainstorm--vintage power thrash, quick melodic riffs, double bass, harmonized chorus...I mean it is literally cut and paste on each record. The problem could be within--the trio of Benert, Ihlenfeld, Lon Caric have been together since 1989. Franck has been with the group since ’99 and the only variable has just been at bass. It is unfair to compare to Maiden, but the great thing about those English legends is they constantly evolve. Brainstorm unfortunately doesn’t.



    About this Writer:
    Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: BRAINSTORM
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Liquid MonsterBrainstorm
    2005
    Eric Compton4/15/2005
    On the Spur of the MomentBrainstorm
    2011
    Eric Compton3/1/2012
    Scary CreaturesBrainstorm
    2016
    Eric Compton2/4/2016
    Soul TemptationBrainstorm
    2003
    Eric Compton8/21/2003


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: BRAINSTORM
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    REVIEWER DATE
    Scary CreaturesBrainstorm
    2016
    Greg Watson4/5/2016


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: BRAINSTORM
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