Stormwarrior - Heathen Warrior
Massacre Records
Power Metal
11 songs (48:30)
Release year: 2011
Stormwarrior, Massacre Records
Reviewed by Thomas

Stormwarrior took me aback with Heading Northe back in 2008. Epic, riff-heavy and laden with awesome melodies, it quickly rose to linger among the exquisite array of favorite releases that particular year. Heading Northe was released at a time of need in the power metal genre. Metal-heads lost more and more interest in an environment ridden by stale, overproduced, ridiculously bombastic, cheesy crap that never found its way out of endless flowery meadows. This was also Stormwarrior’s strongest push towards glory in the realms of metal, which they ultimately achieved. Needless to say, Heathen Warrior stood before quite the challenge trying to step out of Heading Northe’s massive shadow, and although it definitely holds its ground, is it as ravishingly pure as its predecessor?

Aside from the utterly pointless intro, this starts out at blistering speed. The title-track bursts out of the gate with the swiftness and pace of a lion and the weight of a mammoth. The opening riff draws you straight into its maw and even if it’s a bit glossy it kicks some serious ass. The Ride of Asgard isn’t quite as blazing, but the memorable choruses, riffs and leads will stick in your head like a nail. Yenz Leonhardt handles the mic with care, and while his voice isn’t a thing of beauty he still fits the band like a glove, although, to me, he’s somewhat of an acquired taste. Heirs to the Fighte continues in the same vein, which concludes a strong opening trio clad in steel delivering deadly blows in high, fist-pumping spirit. Bloode to Bloode, yeah you guessed it, same stuff delivered at potent speed with the whole package.

This is however where the problems are shaping up and things grow incredibly stale. By now, unless you’re a fanboy, your attention should be fading and you wonder about the more important things in life, like dinner, the weather, when the new Kreator-album will be out, and so on. Riffs, melodies, leads, choruses, vocal lines, everything takes a turn for the worse about halfway through. Less solid, more boring, softer and uninteresting becomes the red line, and it took all my willpower to listen properly beyond Fyre and Ice. Obviously, there’s the occasional highlight like the refreshingly different, slower, The Valkyries Call and album closer And Northern Steele Remaineth.

Stormwarrior have played themselves into a corner where they have massive problems separating from the undisputed legends of power metal, Gamma Ray and Helloween. Where Heading Northe was refreshing, this is, after a couple of songs, downright helpless, crappy plagiarism. Despite a strong start to the album, on a whole, this comes off as bland and not as cool as it potentially could be. Oh and on a worse day, I could easily sentence them to a “Crap of the Month” for their horrendously annoying –e’s attached to each noun. Awful.

Bottom line, this could be much better with an actual effort. However, this is the first bad album these guys released, so here’s to another stomping record in three years or so.

Killing Songs :
Heathen Warrior, And Northern Steele Remaineth
Thomas quoted 68 / 100
Chris quoted 79 / 100
Other albums by Stormwarrior that we have reviewed:
Stormwarrior - Norsemen reviewed by Ben and quoted 71 / 100
Stormwarrior - Heading Northe reviewed by Chris and quoted 94 / 100
Stormwarrior - Northern Rage reviewed by Ben and quoted 86 / 100
Stormwarrior - Heavy Metal Fire EP reviewed by Ben and quoted no quote
Stormwarrior - Stormwarrior reviewed by Marty and quoted 88 / 100
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