Brainstorm - Metus Mortis

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Metal Blade
Catalog Number: 3984-14384
Format: CD
Total Time: 50:11:00

The fear of death is with Brainstorm for their fourth and latest release, once again featuring the vocal talents of one Andy B. Franck (ex-Ivanhoe, Symphorce).

Metus Mortis starts off kind of electronically with the title-track intro. A minute later and you immediately know what you're in for - strong, heavy German power metal. Ambiguity, their previous disc, hit many right notes but the immediate thing I noticed about Metus Mortis was the similarity to many other power metal bands and its obvious relationship with Andy Franck's other current band Symphorce. Slowly the two bands are melding their sounds, which means that you may have heard this before. This is particularly evident in the vocal melodies of Franck, although Symphorce is more brazen in their sound. He is wonderfully unmistakable and a vocalist I don't tire of easily. I just hope he doesn't overdo it. The torrential outpouring of solid power metal doesn't let up for the whole album and rarely is there a moment where you can sit and relax. Translated, that means this sounds great when turned up loud! Conversely, it misses the diversity of Ambiguity in that that album had a mixture of tracks (remember tracks like "Beyond My Destiny" or "Maharaja Palace") - the closest is with "Under Lights." "Weakness Sows Its Seed" shows the more experimental side of the band and these little things are what keeps this album on top, in particular the acute touches of keyboard brilliance played by Miro (as in Sascha Paeth and Miro - ex-Heaven's Gate).

Brainstorm always manage to force the issue bringing back the heavy power metal. The melodies are ingenious but I wouldn"t expect anything less than for a band that has been around this long. Torsten Ihlenfeld and Milan Loncaric on guitars are instrumental (hah-hah) in giving this such a strong sound along with Dieter Bernert who's firing on all double-bass cylinders in songs such as "Strength Of Will," "Meet Me In The Dark," and "Into The Never." The same line-up has resulted in a more consistent, if predictable, sound. The sound has been beefed up the max (remember the differences in sound of the two Symphorce albums?). Production is courtesy of Achim Kohler (Primal Fear) and it is big and you can hear the improvements in the chorus driven music. Andy, sorry to go back to him again, is just so full of vigour and excitement that he just makes you want to sing along. The consummate metal vocalist. The other major highlight for fans of artwork is the superb job by Jan Meininghaus (Falconer, Eidolon, Bolt Thrower) - it's metal without being too clich?d. Wonderful.

Lyrically, there is a persistent religious theme running through the album although not in a preaching sense - it's more of a discussion about issues. There's other stuff in here like cyberspace, but in general it's a very questioning album. Something a bit different from the norm of power metal anyway (always a good thing!). And I didn't even mention the two biggest tracks on the album "Checkmate In Red" and "Hollow Hideaway."

Trust me, I like this one a hell of a lot. And I'm sure you will, too.

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Metus Mortis (1:06) / Blind Suffering (4:23) / Shadowland (3:51) / Checkmate In Red (4:28) / Weakness Sows Its Seed (4:25) / Into The Never (5:45) / Under Lights (4:22) / Cycles (6:05) / Behind (4:27) / Meet Me In The Dark (4:26) / Strength Of Will (3:11)

Andy B Franck - lead and backing vocals
Torsten Ihlenfeld - guitars and backing vocals
Milan Loncaric - guitars and backing vocals
Andreas Mail?nder - bass
Dieter Bernert - drums


Michael 'Miro' Rodenberger - keyboards

Hungry (1997/2007)
Unholy (1998/2007)
Ambiguity (2000)
Metus Mortis (2001)
Soul Temptation (2003)
Liquid Monster (2005)
Downburst (2008)

Honey From The Bs (DVD) (2007)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin DE

Added: December 8th 2004
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website:
Hits: 1653
Language: english


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