Black Hole
Whirlwind of Mad Men

Label: Rockshots Records
Three similar bands: Stratovarius/Kamelot/Powerwolf

Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Chasing The Kraken
2. Walking With The Devil
3. Dark Horizon
4. Whirlwind of Mad Men
5. Legend of Justine
6. My Precious Dream
7. Never Surrender
8. Breaking The Rules
9. Line of Sight
10. My Friend
11. Deliverance
12. No Return
13. Fear of the Dark
14. Dream On

Fabio Torrisi - vocals
Matthieu Acker - guitar
Patrick Umber - bass
Christophe Brunner - drums
Christophe Burghard - keys, orchestrations

Victim of Illusion (EP 2000)
Children of the Sun (EP 2006)
Lost World (2018)

Roland Grapow - solo on Fear of the Dark

Mixing and mastering by Roland Grapow

Released 2022-11-11
Reviewed 2023-02-18

rockshots records

läs på svenska

It is a French black hole coming out with Whirlhinds of Mad Men, sounds kind of tumultuous. It certainly looks cool, the second album by the quintet from France. For this second album they have a new member in Christophe who does keys and orchestration allowing for the band’s compositions to become more pompous and epic. Inspired by Wallace in Braveheard they seem to cater to those that fight, or have fought, or will fight, for their country and Freedom – so not for the Russians or the Chinese then. It is mixed and mastered by Roland Grapow who also does guitar solo on a classic song towards the end of the album.

Grand compositions, epic soundscapes, it is power metal with the same flair as bands like Kamelot or Powerwolf. The singer is sometimes really good, and other times quite weak. The production is modern and powerful, it is an album with a rather majestic sound. It is also an album with a rather majestic playing time, unfortunately. Seventy minutes is too much, no matter which way you look at it. It doesn’t matter that the album is varied, that it has depth, that it has strong dynamics, it never ends, and that is as much a weakness as poorer songs. It helps slightly that they end with some nice curiosities in an Iron Maiden and an Aerosmith cover. Especially Fear of the Dark spices it up considering that it is probably the best song by Iron Maiden, at least one of them.

I think that this is a rather good album, and had it not been so long I probably would have ended up giving it a higher rating. Still, when you do not know when to end, it just becomes dull. And towards the end I fast forward a lot through the songs, as from track five or six onwards I mostly just wait for Fear of the Dark and the end. It would have been wiser for them to not use all these tracks, save a few for the next album, 40-45 minutes is the max for almost any album – there are of course exceptions, but this is not one of those.

For the fan of power metal, especially the one with unlimited time, this is an album to check out. It is good, well-produced, etc. a solid effort from a strong band. Though, unfortunately for them the best track is one that they didn’t write themselves. It is one of those solid efforts that will never be played again now that I have written the last words of this review – though I might keep Fear of the Dark as that is a great song.