STORMWARRIOR - Heading Northe

Stormwarrior - Heading Northe

11 songs
45:22 minutes
***** ****
Dockyard 1


Stormwarrior from Hamburg have been around for a decade, but their third studio album Heading Northe is the first time I hear of them. The dragonboat cover artwork didn’t look too promising, and the cliché-ridden song titles didn’t help to increase my anticipation.

My opinion changed radically after an unnecessary intro with the title track which catapulted my time-machine-like twenty years into the past. The slightly raw vocals remind me of a young Kai Hansen on early Helloween records. In fact songwriting and production show many parallels to the pumpkin rockers early days, when their genre was still called speed metal. You get devastating double bass drum attacks, fast but synchronous guitar riffs and harmonic vocal lines. Even though the majority of the songs are performed at a rather high pace, there is still enough variety on Heading Northe. Metal Legacy is a prime example of a metal hymn that invites to sing along. The Holy Cross has more dramatic flair and uses spoken words parts as done by Manowar in the Eighties. The Revenge Of Asa Lange sees the band switching down a gear into mid-tempo regions.

Their lyrics are closer to another Northern German band, namely Running Wild. Stormwarrior’s songs deal mostly with life on the high sea, with an emphasis on Viking culture. Those interested in fights, parties and Northern mythology will have a great time here.

Sometimes Stormwarrior act as Kai Hansen’s backing band when he wants to perform old Helloween classics. Heading Northe was mastered by Tommy Hansen who has worked in the past with Helloween and Hammerfall, which should be one more reason why no true metal fan can make it past this CD.

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