Independent Release

Review by Tony Cannella

I first became aware of Germany’s Stormgarde via their excellent 2004 demo. Now, over three years later they have issued their debut full-length release entitled “The Answer”. The band is fronted by powerhouse female singer Sabrina Grochocki. She is joined by Daniel Stöckner (Guitars & screams), Markus Biehl (Guitars), Stefan Leushake (Bass) and Günter Pellner (Drums). The aforementioned demo offered a great glimpse of what Stormgarde was capable of. The opening track is also the titlesong. It opens with a brief keyboard intro and from there evolves into just a great bouncy metal track. It’s got a great feel and energy to it, I can envision this one opening their live concerts. Just a great opening track that is also highlighted by Sabrina‘s powerful vocal delivery. The next track “Sphere of Dreams” opens with a wickedly monster riff and just becomes a heavy, heavy track with some cool vocal harmonies that only enhance this song. Some more great vocal work is on display here. Next is “Like a Prison”. More heavy doses of melody are on display here with great musicianship and just another excellent track. Here Sabrina utilizes a more operatic style that fits right in with the overall feel of the song. Great guitar solo is also included on this track. The next three songs “The Nightstorm”, “The Voice” and “Fear” really keep the momentum going full speed ahead. “The Nightstorm”, in particular has to be considered one the highlights. This is arguably the heaviest song included here. It features awesome dueling male and female vocals with Sabrina and guitarist Daniel sharing the spotlight. The inclusion of the male vocals are an excellent touch. Daniel adds some guttural screams and it offers a nice contrast in vocal styles with Sabrina. “Tornado of Charred Souls” and “Left Alone” are two more highlights. “Sitting Here” is a beautiful heart-felt song that is half ballad and half mid-tempo rocker. It really is a pretty song that could really appeal to a wide range of music fans, if given the chance. The final song, “Everything (I Did Was Wrong)” was probably my favorite song from the demo and it is a great way to close things here. Stormgarde have release a 10 song, 40 minute slice of majestic symphonic metal. Musically, sonically and talent-wise there is a lot going on here. The songs are very well written (music and the lyrics). It is obvious that a lot of effort went into the making of “The Answer”. So if your musical tastes lie in this realm of music (and even if it doesn’t), than Stormgarde comes highly recommended. An excellent release. Personally, I love this sort of thing and Stormgarde are a band that I’m sure will be in my play-list for a long time to come.

Rating – 100/100

 

Tracklist

  1. The Answer
  2. Sphere of Dreams
  3. Like a Prison
  4. The Nightstorm
  5. The Voice
  6. Fear
  7. Tornado of the Charred Souls
  8. Left Alone
  9. Sitting Here
  10. Everything (I Did Was Wrong)

 

Line Up

  • Sabrina Grochocki – Vocals
  • Markus Biehl – Guitars
  • Daniel Stöckner – Guitar 
  • Stefan “Pfanny” Leushacke – Bass 
  • Günter Pellner – Drums  

 

Links

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