The Spur of the Moment

01. Below The Line
02. In The Blink Of An Eye
03. Temple Of Stone
04. In These Walls
05. Still Insane
06. Dark Life
07. No Saint - No Sinner
08. Where Your Actions Lead
You To Live
09. A Life On Hold
10. My Own Hell
Bonus limited digipak
This Pain Is Mine
The Heartless Spawn Of Seed

Andy B. Franck (Vocals)
Torsten Ihlenfeld (Guitar)
Milan Loncaric (Guitar)
Antonio Ieva (Bass)
Dieter Bernert (Drums)

Hungry (1997)
Unholy (1998)
Ambiguity (2000)
Metus Mortis (2001)
Soul Temptation (2003)
Liquid Monster (2005)
Downburst (2008)
Memorial Roots (2009)



recorded in the Studio 22 with Axel Heckert
mixed at the Gate Studio by Sascha Paeth and Miro

Released 30/9-2011
Reviewed 20/9-2011

afm records

It wasn’t too long ago that I started to think that Andy B. Franck had the strongest voice in power metal. I think it was about 7-8 years ago, to be precise. Back then he had just sung on the third Symphorce album, called ‘PhorcefulAhead’ and released the album that became the real breakthrough for Brainstorm, ‘Soul Temptation’ (the fifth brainstorm album and follow-up to the highly regarded ‘Metus Mortis’). After seeing Brainstorm live right around this I felt more convinced than anytime that Andy was a great vocalist and since this Brainstorm has released the albums ‘Liquid Monster’ in 2005, ‘Downburst’ in 2008 and ‘Memorial Roots’ in 2009 and in Symphorce Andy has sung on ‘Twice Second’ from 2004, ‘Godspeed’ from 2005, ‘Become Death’ from 2007 and ‘Unrestricted’ from 2010. All in all seven albums in seven years and as these albums has rained out every year I’ve just lost that enthusiasm for Andy. The problem isn’t that his voice isn’t as good as it was, if anything it has become better, but after 2005 it has just felt like the progression has halted and it all seems to get recycled. It is something of yesterday’s news about it with new albums starring Andy B. Franck and it seems to reflect also in the statistics of the albums with both his bands (of course not because of Andy and no one else, if you thought I meant that). So, is ‘The Spur of the Moment’ the album to turn this around?

Well, let’s keep our focus at Andy to begin with, and here’s no big news really. Andy sing high pitched and low pitched like always and does it like a king, yet I’m not blown away by it. Sure, it souns good and there’s nothing wrong with it anywhere but it just don’t seem that amazing as it did 5-6 years ago since there’s nothing new about the way he does it anymore. It’s pretty much identical to how it was back then. Musically I believe they’ve roughed it up a bit. The guitars seems more aggressive, maybe even a bit rock ’n’ roll, than I remember them but the melodies are quite familiar, which means they are straight forward, harmonical and seems to lead in to something all the time. Overall though, the feeling is that it hasn’t happened a lot here either – Brainstorm keeps heading forward on the road they’ve been going on so far also this time. And this is something they can do and can do well.

In the background of the songs throughout the album they have theese ”mood sounds” that makes the album more dense and fun to listen at compared to if they only played their pretty straight forward heavy metal that their music is otherwise. One thing that I’ve always liked about Brainstorm, and Symphorce too as the matter of fact, is how they double and triple the vocals from Andy to make them sound more dense and deep – and better. It’s quite normal that Andy sings both the leads and background vocals and all alternative song lines on the albums, making him sing over himself as the dying tones are crossed by the next. These things may, however, harm the live performance somewhat, but on the album it sounds great when they do this! In my opinion, Andys voice might not evolve anything from where it is today but considering how good his voice is, that's kind of a small issue. I would love to hear him explore different things with his voice and not just stay inside the barriers he's set up, but there's definitely bands and vocalists that's harmed much more by not doing this than Brainstorm and Andy. When all is considered, they vary themselves quite a lot already and have showed that they can do good music with much variation. And if you think I've been giving Andy a hard time so far - I still consider him one of the best voices within power metal, it's just that this is his fourteenth album since 1999 and when he doesn't try anything new anymore it might get a bit repetitious.

'The Spur of the Moment' is a 46 minutes long album that feels like it ends all too fast overtime I hear it. I don't think anything is revolutionized by it but all fans of power metal, and especially fans of Brainstorm and Symphorce it's as given as it is to dress in warm clothes when it's cold outside… unless you're quicksilver poisoned and have burning skin of course. B!


Label: AFM/Triada
Three similar bands: Symphorce/Wizard/Paragon
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm
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