Pump - Breakdown To Breakthrough - 2006 - Metal Heaven
1. Revolution On My Mind 2. Blood On The Blade 3. Higher 4. Save Me 5. I Can’t Deny 6. How Does It Feel? 7. Alright Now 8. Headstrong 9. Bulletride 10. Heaven High 11. Who Made You A Madman
I remember back in the late '90s reading stellar reviews for the first two Brainstorm releases. Many compared the first two albums from the German force to the likes of Vicious Rumors circa mid '90s. The difference was the power metal enthusiast fronting the band, a high-wire screamer in the mold of Ralf Scheepers and Rob Halford. The man holding the mic was Marcus Jurgens, whose presence on the self-titled album and the group's sophomore effort "Unholy" make those two Brainstorm records simply irresistible when compared to the more melodic, progressive elements found on the band's later works. Of course don't confuse my passion for early Brainstorm as evidence that I don't support the band now. I do, in fact their vocalist Andy B. Franck is probably in my top twenty of all time. But the first couple albums from the band really showcased a dominating, punishing affair that combined hard rock and raw power metal. A thrash rocker if you will.
In 2004 I remember reading about a band called Pump, a German outfit fronted by ex-Brainstorm singer Marcus Jurgens. The group released their debut for Soulfood entitled "Against Everyone’s Advice". The record received fabulous reviews but your favorite metal journalist could never get his dirty paws on a copy. Now the band has released their follow-up entitled "Breakdown To Breakthrough". The group are on new label Metal Heaven, which is a subsidiary of AOR Heaven, the fantastic German mailorder/label that has released some modern day classics. This new record was produced by Tommy Newton, famed producer of Helloween, Moon Doc, Victory, etc.
Fans of today's modern German power metal should find plenty to shout about here. The band uses some heavy power chords to fully embrace a slicked up, polished sound that is in the vein of Sinner and Primal Fear. Some cuts go into the '90s visions of UDO and Accept material, with so much heavy metal thunder that it almost shakes the shiny off of the hard rock persona the band illuminates. Singer Marcus Jurgens is right on target here, really displaying the high vocal pitch that he used so well with Brainstorm. Guitarists Axel Reissmann and Ulli Hauff craft a good dose of melody and twin guitar into the heavy groove passages. I can imagine these two were heavily influenced by the "Balls To The Wall" combo of Wolf Hoffman and Hermann Frank from '83. Favorite cuts include the stomping opener "Revolution On My Mind" and the fantasy tune "Blood On The Blade".
Bottom Line - Anyone in the mood for classy hard rock with the power metal blasts made popular by the Germans should pick this up immediately.
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.
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