Thunder & Steele

01. Thunder & Steele
02. Metal Avenger
03. Sacred Blade
04. Ironborn
05. Steelcrusader
06. Fyres In The Nighte
07. Die By The Hammer
08. Child Of Fyre
09. One Will Survive
10. Servants Of Metal

Lars Ramcke - Vocals & Guitar
Alex Guth - Guitar
Yenz Leonhardt - Bass & Vocals
Jörg Uken - Drums

Possessed by Metal 7“ (2001)
Spikes & Leather 7" (2002)
Stormwarrior (2002)
Heavy Metal Fire EP (2003)
Northern Rage (2002)
At Foreign Shores – Live in Japan (2006)
Heading Northe (2008)

Heathen Warrior (2011)


Mix and mastering by Piet Sielck at Powerhouse Studio, Hamburg
Felipe Machado Franco - Cover art, Artwork
Kai Karczewski - Design
Mirjam Otto - Photography

Released 2014-01-24
Reviewed 2014-03-11


So, Stormwarrior is back, oh joy you state in a loud voice worthy of a heathen warrior. But is it really a joyous time when the misspellings and viking themes accompanied by speedy power metal is back? Well, I asked the same already last time around thinking it was getting stale with the same king of song titles and lyrics but that time around they actually evolved a bit musically which gave hope. I must say I was hoping for more of that with this album but judging by lyrics and title nothing has really happened. It is like the warrior are still making his way to the marshlands getting his feet very wet in the process, perhaps too wet to be able to carry on. But sure, you cannot expect grand epic masterpieces of great new groundbreaking music every time, Stormwarrior has been great in the past and ever since they arrived I have liked them, I met Lars Ramcke already back in 2002 to do the first Stormwarrior interview in Hallowed. Since then we have done a few more articles from interviews with both Lars and Yenz Leonheardt so I can say that I am a big fan of these guys just in case you are wondering.

If you have heard Stormwarrior in the past, especially what they did before Heathen Warrior, you will know exactly what you will get. If you have heard Heading Northe you will know even more as it is copy+pasted music from that album with new lyrics, more or less. Or if you don’t know that stuff, think Walls of Jericho by Helloween with a more modern sound. Quick paced power metal with guitar duels, catchy choruses with choirs, smattering drums, typical metal melodies and a singer inhaling helium whenever he has the chance. That is what you get, well made music by skilled musicians who might be a bit out of ideas.

You cannot really evolve a narrow concept in infinity while still keeping it fresh, they did add some new and interesting elements last time around but that hasn’t stayed on for this album which is a step back. I find it amusing and all of that, for a short while, until I realise that I have heard this exact thing in this shape with different lyrics just a few years ago. At that time it stops being fun, it is like a rerun on television most of the time it is enough to see it the first time and with Stormwarrior that is definitely the case. I think they find themselves at a spot where they just repeat themselves and this album is a clear evidence of that, it offers nothing, and I really mean nothing, fresh, no new perspective and nothing that feels fresh. It never feels like listening to a new album when hearing this, not that it is bad but it is sad. I am sure that fans will adore this though as fans for some reason hate change and loves everything to be the same over and over and over and over and over again and that is not how you keep making fresh and interesting stuff, that is just a recipe for loosing more and more fans for each album you release.

Anyway, nothing stands out, nothing on the album grabs me and I am left with the question: has the ship of the heathen warrior finally sunk beneath the cold surface of the North Sea? The apparent answer to said question is yes it has but the question then is wether or not the warrior manages to get back to land and save himself from dying in the cold waters off the shore of the bitter Scandinavian mainland. And for that question to be answered we have to wait until the next chapter, I hope it is better than this.




Label: Massacre Records
Three similar bands: Helloween/Running Wild/Gamma Ray
Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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