Hot off the Press

Stormwarrior | Thunder & Steele

by Justin Gaines
– Senior Columnist/News Editor —

Stormwarrior Thunder & SteeleGerman power/speed/traditional heavy metal band Stormwarrior is back with a new album, their fifth full-length release, titled Thunder & Steele. It’s the perfect title for a band equally obsessed with old school power/speed metal and over the top fantasy themes, and the band delivers hefty doses of both thunder and steel with this release.

From the very beginning, Stormwarrior has made their appreciation for early Helloween obvious, and that hasn’t changed over the course of their five albums. Sure, they’re more polished and melodically accessible now, but Thunder & Steele still has that Walls of Jericho foundation. Even Lars Ramcke’s vocals sound quite similar to Kai Hansen’s. Beyond the high speed riffing and pounding rhythms, these are some very catchy metal anthems. The kind that make you want to raise a sword and/or tankard of ale, in the name of metal of course. Come on, how can any manly metal warrior resist the call of “Metal Avenger,” “Steelcrusader,” “Fyres in the Night” and “Die By the Hammer?”

OK, so the lyrics are over the top cheesy, and the spelling of the song titles is just bizarre, but that only adds to the appeal of this album. Thunder & Steele is just a completely fun, completely catchy, old school power metal album. Call it a guilty pleasure if you must, but if you still listen to Manowar and Hammerfall you’re not going to be able to say no to this one …

Stormwarrior isn’t giving us anything new here, and they really don’t have to. They’re unapologetic about their influence, and their fans should be equally unapologetic about loving this kind of ultra-cheesy power metal. Thunder & Steele is probably the most purely enjoyable power metal album you’re likely to encounter all year. Even the mighty Hammerfall is going to have a hard time topping this one.

Genre: Power Metal

Lars Ramcke (v) (g)
Alex Guth (g)
Yens Leonhardt (b) (v)
Jorg Uken (d)

Track Listing:
1. Thunder & Steele
2. Metal Avenger
3. Sacred Blade
4. Ironborn
5. Steelcrusader
6. Fyres in the Nighte
7. Die By the Hammer
8. Child of Fyre
9. One Will Survive
10. Servants of Metal

Label: Massacre


Hardrock Haven Rating: 8/10