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BRAINSTORM Midnight Ghost

By Alex Yarborough, Orlando Contributor
Tuesday, September 18, 2018 @ 12:49 AM


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BRAINSTORM
Midnight Ghost

2018 AFM Records




It‘s been roughly two and a half years since German power metal band BRAINSTORM released Scary Creatures. Now, the band is set to release their 12th studio album (their fifth with AFM Records) on September 28th. The band features vocalist Andy B. Franck, guitarists Torsten Ihlenfeld and Milan Loncaric, drummer Dieter Bernert and bassist Antonio Ieva.

Midnight Ghost gets off to a barreling start with the aggressive “Devil’s Eye”, an absolutely ripping up-tempo blast, chock full of overlapping vocals, double bass drumming and churning guitar riffs. The monstrous chorus and guitar solo make this song an instant BRAINSTORM classic. The next song, “Revealing The Darkness”, starts out mid-tempo, but accelerates to a full-blown rocker with a catchy, melodic chorus. “Ravenous Minds” (video HERE) is a perfect example of a BRAINSTORM song: build-up via some melancholy vocals, crunchy crescendo sing-along chorus and melodic guitar solo. “The Pyre” is probably my favorite track on the album, and I would put this in my top 10 BRAINSTORM songs ever. Just pure tenacity from the whole band here, in the classic BRAINSTORM fashion. It is actually the shortest song on the album (at 4:20), but one of the best for sure. The next song, “Jeanne Boulet (1764)” is the longest song (7:47), and was inspired by a wolf that terrorized a town in southern France and killed about 100 women and children before being stopped.

“Divine Inner Ghost” is another strong track that I can see being a single release; it is one of the best songs on the album. “When Pain Becomes Real” might be the biggest chorus on the album, simply uplifting, even in its lamentation. “Four Blessings” features some real crowd pleasing sing-along moments and could be great live. “Haunting Voices” offers tons of head-banging fun. Album closer, “The Path”, resides in the mid-tempo/ballad realm and provides a closure to the album, via its lyrics about state of mind. There are 10 songs total, which clock in around 52 minutes.

By this point in their career, BRAINSTORM has developed their own winning formula for writing songs: strong melodic vocal hooks from the legend Andy B. Franck, which take the spotlight the majority of the time. The man’s voice is still as strong as ever. He is one of my favorite voices in metal. The heavy guitar riffs from Torsten and Milan are bold and in your face as usual. Antonio and Dieter provide a serious bounce to these tracks that you can bang your head to.

Comparing each BRAINSTORM album with the previous ones is difficult for me, because this band is consistently good. They are like an old friend you can always rely on to never let you down. I’ve been following BRAINSTORM for over 20 years now, and I can say that in many ways, this is the biggest album of their career. The songs are well written, focused and well produced (by Sebastian ‘Seeb’ Levermann). The album artwork (by Gyula Havancsak) is creepy and cool. There really isn’t a bad song here. The entire band loves the album and is excited for its success. AFM is really behind the band and pushing this album. I don’t know if Midnight Ghost is the best album of their career; time will tell on that I think. But it’s in the discussion, and worthy of your attention. Check this album out.

Midnight Ghost will be released on CD, CD/DVD Digibook (live DVD from 2016), blue vinyl, yellow/blue splatter vinyl and a limited-edition box set.

4.7 Out Of 5.0


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