» reviews

1. Falling Spiral Down
2. Fire Walk With Me
3. Stained With Sin
4. Frozen
5. End In Sorrow
6. Redemption In Your Eyes
7. How Do You Feel
8. All Alone
9. Surrounding Walls
10. Crawling In Chains
11. Protect Me From Myself

Andy B. Franck · vocals
Torsten Ihlenfeld · guitar
Milan Loncaric · guitar
Dieter Bernert · drums

Produced by Sascha Paeth & Miro
Photographs by Alex Kuehr

2007 / Metal Blade 3984-14659-2 (regular) 3984-14659-0 (digi)


Hardcoresounds · 4.5/5 · kanwulf
Brainstorm is back and ready to strike down the non believers like a bullet to the chest, with their latest release “Downburst”. This is by far the strongest album to date from the German metal monsters. Brainstorm has taken the genre of power metal to levels never before reached by other bands of the same genre. “Downburst” makes me want to grow my mullet back, and start rocking my jean jacket vest again. It is rare for me to find a band that can bring that feel good era of metal back into my life and for Brainstorm to do that makes me want raise my fists in the air once again.

“Downburst” starts off with a slam dunk right away, with the track “Falling Spiral Down” leading you on a journey of death where you in the end fall into your own grave. This is track is a heavy mother fucker, not stop guitars will assault your ears along with enough double bass to slay your soul. I really enjoyed the use of keyboards in this song. I feel they added a lot to the feeling of despair that wouldn´t have been their without. Just when you think that you have fallen to your death Brainstorm strikes you back to life to walk your soul to hell with “Fire Walk With Me”. As the first single from Downburst “Fire Walk With Me” has a lot to prove and if you ask me its proved everything it was asked to. This is the song that you will bring out the eighties metal head in you again and make you raise fist in the air and scream hell Yes. Not a song will go by that you won´t want to bang your head till its broke. The lyrics are incredibly well written and are flawlessly brought to you by vocalist Andy B. Franck who never lets his guard down. Musically “Downburst” is Brainstorms strongest presentation to date. The guitars, bass, and drums are incredibly well played and never skip a beat. Brainstorm is going to kick your ass, rip your soul from your body and send it to hell and give it a reeducation in metal.

Without a doubt “Downburst” is the most musically diverse album from Brainstorm in years and will most certainly be a force to reckon with. If this nu-metal crap that is causing you to lose faith in metal then “Downburst” is just what you need to bring the faith back. Look for “Downburst” to be released on Metalblade records world-wide in late January 2008.

BW&BK · 8/10 · Marc Gromen
Been more than two years since Liquid Monster (which was one), yet still no additional North American shows. Well, the Germans better get their “esel” overseas for Downburst, or there will be an outburst, big time! Although not as immediate as its predecessor, Downburst picks up where Brainstorm left off (‘Stained With Sin’, ‘Redemption In Your Eyes’ and ‘How Do You Feel’). All told, these ten tunes benefit from the symphonic diversification sweeping through the power metal movement, i.e. Primal Fear, Iced Earth, etc. The effect is most noticeable in ‘Surrounding Walls’ and throughout ‘End In Sorrow’, where the hushed tones of singer Andy B. Franck sound decidedly American radio-friendly. In the opposite direction, there’s the staccato modernism of ‘Fire Walk With Me’ and modulated vocals on ‘Frozen’. Heaviest track honours go to ‘Protect Me From Myself’, which also sports an extended guitar break. The ‘All Alone’ finale has Franck in spoken word/near whisper, with an infectious late ‘70s hard rock chorus riff.

The Stygian Hall · 3.5/5 · StygianSteel
Now 7 albums deep into their career (5 with Andy Franck), Brainstorm continue along and have to be considered one of the mainstays of the German power sound at this point. I've always enjoyed em for what they are, which is basically a formulatic but enjoyable catchy heavy power band. Granted, on the last album there was a bit more of an attempt at expanding their sound with a single like All Those Words.

On this album the single is likewise kinda off the wall with a strange, shout it out rock anthem chorus. Not my favorite on the album honestly, but around track 3 things really get rolling with some nice polished, catchy, and well sung power metal. I guess if it's not broken don't fix it because it's tracks like this and Redemption In Your Eyes with their patented Brainstorm sound that keep me coming back to this album for more. Also notable is the heavy, take no prisoners sound of Frozen which features some well placed synth and leaves a lasting impression.

Not much else to say here besides 'typical Brainstorm'. Besides the single I don't think anything here will be suprising, but for fans of the band I'm sure this album should be satisfying enough. Andy B Franck's vocals are a treat as always, the choruses stick with you, and the riffs have a nice heavy German power sound. Not a striking release, but par for the course. I give this one a 3.5 for being good at what it does.

Highlights: Stained With Sin, Redemption In Your Eyes, Frozen

Metalcrypt · 4/5 · Michel Renaud
I had only heard "Liquid Monster" from this band before this, back around the time it was released, and I didn't even bother to listen to it more than once. Needless to say, I don't remember what it sounded like. :) "Downburst" is a mix of Heavy and Power Metal that reminds me a lot of some of Primal Fear's material. The album is very upbeat, pretty "positive sounding" overall, with only a few passages that sound a little bit darker, but not much - this is not music to get depressed to. The vocal work is often not unlike what you'd hear from Halford or Scheepers when they're singing in lower keys (you won't get any comparable higher pitch here), and sometimes sounding more "sober", in a hard rock-ish kind of way (there's a little Dokken vibe from time to time). I could almost go as far as to say that the vocals are the highlight of the album, as the singer does an excellent job at driving the songs here - whether they call for an aggressive or very melodic style, but the guitar work does come in a very close second, with some very headbangable, or at the very least catchy riffage popping up all over the place. Unfortunately, the drum sound is a bit thin at times. The keyboards can be an annoyance here, however, sometimes way too present and giving some of the songs kind of a fruity sound. Elsewhere they keyboards are more in the background and do a better job at enhancing the atmosphere - I just wish they had stuck to that.

"Downburst" won't win any awards for originality, but it's a fun, catchy album to listen to, with more than its share of decent Heavy/Power Metal.