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Stormburst – ‘Raised On Rock’

posted 11 Jul 2017, 08:27 by Paul Woodward

(AOR Heaven)

Review by Woody

Sweden’s Stormburst debut album ‘Raised on Rock’ is solid melodic hard rock with a strong Scandi flavour. I think the average melodic hard rock fan will enjoy and appreciate the album as a whole. That said though this album isn’t going to set the world on fire, it’s a tad too predictable and safe, so as enjoyable as it is to genre fans it’s not going to blow anyone’s socks off either. Hardcore genre fanboys can buy this album with confidence though knowing what they are getting is exactly what they crave and as long as they aren’t expecting the second coming of the genre they will find more than plenty to enjoy about ‘Raised On Rock’.

There are lots of eighties touches in the flow and sound of Stormburst so that will definitely appeal to fans of old school melodic rock. I keep thinking of early eighties AOR bands and I can hear that a lot in their song writing, so I wouldn’t be surprised if bands like Foreigner are a huge influence on them. This early AOR vibe I pick up on is accentuated by the heavy use of Hammond organ keyboards and some slight and albeit minor prog twists. The heavier guitar edge modernises the band’s sound though and gives them a more contemporary stance. Some of these songs have a touch of the blues, but not excessively, it’s more in attitude and swagger as everything stays very much within smooth melodic rock territory.

The lyrics are very weak and cliched but I have heard far worse, it just feels a little lightweight and uninvolving at times. Lyrically though they are no worse than many big-name bands who we all gush over regularly, it just feels to me a little too superficial and not as deep as I tend to float towards personally.

I was really impressed with the vocalist Lars Ake Nillson, he has a perfect super smooth and melodic voice and is definitely ideal for this style of music. I also have to highlight keyboardist Peter Ostling whose versatility and compositions really enhance the potency of the songs and effect the impact of each individual song in different ways, whether it’s pumping melodic rock keyboards or sweeping Hammond organs.

Highlights include ‘Say You Will’ which has some great keyboards and a purposeful and evocative chorus and the smooth anthemic chorus of ‘Raised On Rock’.

Track Listing: Show Me The Way / Say You Will / Under The Gun / Show Me A Sign / Touched By Love / Give Me / Raised On Rock / Chains Of Darkness / Never Too Late / Lay Your Love On Me / All I Want Is You / Lost and Blue / Restless Hearts

Album Rating: 7/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Say You Will