Echoes of a Lost Paradise
Release Date: June 12, 2015
For a band who has been around as long as Stormhammer (founded in 1993) I’m surprised to have never having even heard of them before. Evidently they’ve toured with such acts as Blind Guardian and Grave Digger, so they’re not exactly small time. They’re a German based band, so that’s the only factor I can point to which would explain their lack of exposure on this side of the pond.
So what do we have here exactly? Echoes of a Lost Paradise, the band’s 5th studio album and first release with new vocalist Jürgen Dachl and new guitarist Bernd Intveen, who join Manni Ewender (guitars) Horst Teßmann (bass) and Chris Widmann (drums) in the creation of what can only be called ‘power-thrash’.
If you are familiar at all with German power metal (i.e. Blind Guardian, Helloween. Gamma Ray) then you have a pretty good idea already what Stormhammer are all about. Take that level of precision, and appreciation for melody and combine it with the intensity and aggression of thrash and you end up with one seriously epic album. Dachl’s vocals are varied, ranging from clean operatic heights, to gritty guttural utterances. He’s all over the place, as is the rest of the band who craft sublime melody and crushing riffs equally well. Check out the blitzkrieg assault of “Black Clouds” which brings to mind the speed metal roots of the power metal genre, as well as the powerful and moving ballad “The Ocean” which showcases the band’s ability to turn down the tempo and crank up the emotion.
I’m not familiar at all with their back catalogue, but this album here is most definitely worth checking out. If you enjoy band’s like Blind Guardian or Iced Earth then you’ll surely appreciate this most excellent release from a criminally underrated band.
Reviewed by: Farron 1340