Stormburst - 'Raised On Rock'

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Stormburst - 'Raised On Rock'

Will definitely appeal to old-school Melodic Rock fans.

Sweden's Stormburst debut album 'Raised On Rock' is solid Melodic Hard Rock with a strong Scandie flavour. I think the average Melodic Hard Rock fan will enjoy and appreciate the album as a whole. That being said, 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 some sort of genre second coming, they will find more than plenty to enjoy about '...Rock'.

There are lots of eighties touches in the flow and sound of Stormburst so that will definitely appeal to old-school Melodic Rock fans. I keep thinking of early eighties AOR bands and I can hear that a lot of them in their song-writing, so I wouldn't be surprised if acts 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 and some slight and minor Prog twists. The heavier guitar edge modernises the band's sound thus giving them a more contemporary stance. Some of these songs have a touch of the Blues as well, but not excessively, it's more in attitude and swagger as everything stays very much within smooth Melodic Rock territory.

The lyrics are rather weak and clichéd 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. For me, it just feels a little too superficial and not as deep as I tend to float towards personally.

I was really impressed with the vocalist Lars-Åke "Plåtis" Nillson, he has a perfect super-smooth and melodic voice that is definitely ideal for this style of music. I also have to highlight keyboardist Peter Östling whose versatility and compositions really enhance the potency of the songs, effecting 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 with a purposeful and evocative chorus, and the smooth anthemic chorus of 'Raised On Rock'.

Paul Woodward

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