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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Violent Storm

Storm Warning

Review by Greg Olma

I read a blurb about this band on the Internet but the information focused on K.K. Downing’s (Judas Priest) input more than the band or the music. I don’t know if it’s a good thing that Downing worked with Violent Storm or not. On one hand, his presence makes the CD more newsworthy but on the other, his name might over shadow this solid metal release. Not only that, but you throw Yngwie Malmsteen and Roy Z (additional guests on the CD) into the mix and people might forget that there is a good band underneath all the “star” names. Musically, Violent Storm is your basic heavy metal style. The guys are not breaking any new ground. But that is OK when it is played this well. Sometimes metal should just be metal without all of those outside influences from other genres. Matt Reardon sings well and takes a more natural approach to his singing. He doesn’t do the screaming style we associate with metal (i.e. Judas Priest). The guitars are also solid and even though some of the styles of Downing, Malmsteen, and Z come through, I don’t think it made that much of a difference. The songs would have been just as good had these contributions not been added. I’ve listened to this record a few times now and it really grows on you with each added play. The album is only a little over a half hour long but there is not a bad tune in the bunch. If you’re looking for something new sounding, you won’t find it here but if you want a good old fashioned metal album, then pick this one up. It will fit the bill perfectly.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
War No More
K.K. Downing plays on this tune so naturally it has a Judas Priest guitar sound but the rest of the track is more Euro power metal. Overall the “sound” is not very original but it is played well. I don’t think this is one of the stronger cuts on the CD and I would have put it further down on the album.
Fire In The Unknown
Now this one would have been a great first track. Yngwie Malmsteen plays on it and the guitars and song are definitely in his style. Even Matt Reardon sings like one of the (many) vocalists from Yngwie’s band. It is a fast paced metal tune that would have fit nicely on Rising Force.
Deceiver
The music slows down to a more traditional metal pace and it stays there for the rest of the disc. The chorus gets heavier but also stays really catchy. Even K. K. Downing kicks it up a notch and puts in a really nice solo.
Pain
This is one of the heavier tracks on the record. I like the fact that the vocals are sung heavier also. It shows range and adds some variety to the overall package. Malmsteen puts in a signature solo that fits the song quite well.
Alimentary Fable
As a whole, the album contains catchy choruses on almost all of the tunes. This is not one of those songs but that is what makes this one unique. I feel that this is where Violent Storm comes into their own and creates one of the better tracks on the CD.
Screaming In Your Face
Even though Roy Z guests on guitar on here, it has a very Judas Priest Stained Class era riff. It's very simple and straight to the point. There is also a part in the middle of the chorus that has a “Gates of Babylon” vibe to it. I love the old school sound and playing and it would be great live.
You Don't Care
This is another track like “Alimentary Fable” that is more unique and less catchy. This has a very choppy guitar sound for the verses but gets somewhat heavy during the chorus. The vocalist also sings in a deeper voice; keeping the overall sound heavy.
Owning You
Of all of the tunes on this album, this one is the most ordinary. It’s a mid paced rocker that is good but just not as good as the other pieces on this disc.
Empty Hope
This short little rocker clocks in at 3 minutes and has a very Yngwie Malmsteen-like sound to it. The vocals are sung in that style also and this could have fit onto one of Malmsteen’s earlier albums.
Storm
The last song may clock in under 4 minutes but it still is able to give off an epic feel. It starts off as somewhat of a ballad before it breaks into melodic Euro metal and then comes full circle back to that ballady intro.
 
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