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   BRAINSTORM
Soul Temptation
2003
Metal Blade
http://truemetal.org/brainstorm


rating: 5/5

1. Highs Without Lows
2. Doorway To Survive
3. The Leading
4. Nunca Nos Rendimos
5. Fading
     Trinity Of Lust:
6. Shiva's Tears
7. Fornever
8. Soul Temptation
9. Dying Outside
10. To The Head
11. Rising
12. Amarillo (Bonus)

I've been following Brainstorm since the release of their debut album and with each album in at least one way they managed to top the predecessor. I'm pleased to report that "Soul Temptation" is no exception.
The last record "Metus Mortis" kind of lacked variety; it was a heavy step forward but it left aside the lower paced or even epic moments we knew from "Ambiguity" which was probably the only thing people could complain about.
"Soul Temptation" represents a blend of the best things "Ambiguity" and "Metus Mortis" have to offer which means it contains a well-balanced mix of both heaviness and melody. All Brainstorm fans will know what this means and will get the album right away anyway. For those not familar with the band I will try to elaborate.

The opening track "Highs Without Lows" is not only a typical Brainstorm track, its title is also already a hint for the listener what to expect: there are only highlights and no lows to come! Again Brainstorm did not release any filler material with this album. I'm listening to this album on repeat for a few days now and I'm still not close to being bored with it. Track number 3, "The Leading" sounds a little different, it has a great groove, nice keys and some mighty Brainstorm-backup-vocals! Speaking of keyboards: they're not used to reduce the power factor but to create density. So don't worry, the double guitar attack courtesy of Todde and Mille is still what the Brainstorm sound is about. The next track "Nunca Nos Rendinos" (translates to "we never surrender") is quite a bombastic sounding song, with string-arrangements and a Spanish chorus while "Fading" is the most calm track on the album but still cannot be entitled as a ballad.

On the last two albums, Brainstorm always had one song which had an oriental theme to it. This time they even wrote a trilogy called "Trinity Of Lust" and what a great piece of work it is! The three tracks are connected through oriental sounds and samples and the trilogy kicks off with "Shiva's Tears", quite a pounding and mid-paced track with heavy riffing. Next up is "Fornever" (yet another pun Andy B. Franck came up with) and especially with this track it becomes clear what the keyboards on this album are good for. Last track of the trilogy and titletrack "Soul Temptation" is nothing but a killer tune! It's the most epic and progressive song of the album with rather calm verses and a mighty chorus. Absolutely stirring!

The songs "Doorway To Survive", "Dying Outside" and "To The Head" are in a more traditional vein again, being straightforward and heavy, while the last song "Rising" isn't as fast but very melodic and sounds pretty unconventional for Brainstorm to my ears.

Closing the limited edition you will find the cover tune "Amarillo", originally by Tony Christie. You should not miss out this hilarious version, it's heavy as well as funny. The limited edition will also contain a video for "Highs Without Lows" and will hold an additional DVD featuring Brainstorm's last year's performance at the Summer Breeze Festival (9 tracks).
Fans of US style powermetal who are looking for a quality release know what to do!

submitted by Cora 22.06.2003

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