Label: AFM Records Playing Time: 50 Min Release 17th September 2021
The German band Brainstorm is an awesome constant in the melodic Metal business. Since 1997 they have been releasing albums in a steady rhythm and most of them are state of the art and meet highest expectations. The last output from 2018 called “Midnight Ghost” received 8 points from me, a rating I still find appropriate.
After a short orchestral intro, the pandemic album “Wall of Skulls” starts at a high level: ‘Where Ravens Fly’, ‘Solitude’, which starts with an untypical, almost a-capella intro, and ‘Escape the Silence’, a duet with Peavy Wagner of Rage, are formidable songs. Catchy hooks, powerful drumming and riffs. Typical Brainstorm. After this great start, the level cannot hold up, though. The first single ‘Turn off the light’, a duet with Seeb Levermann of Orden Ogan, is nearly obsolete. ‚Glory Disappears‘, ‚End of my Innocence‘ and ‚Holding On’ are way too soft. They bring some dynamics into the album flow, but in fact they are just too cheesy. The only really good track in the second half of the album is ‘Stigmatized’.
Therefore, all in all, “Wall of Skulls” is a good album, but not more. It actually does not meet the level of its predecessor “Midnight Ghost” (and some other earlier albums as well).