Stormhammer - Cold Desert Moon
Century Media
Epic Heavy Metal
12 songs (56'51)
Release year: 2001
Stormhammer, Century Media
Reviewed by Chris

Second album for this German Heavy Metal act. Strangely their sound as quite changed from their debut album, but that might confirmed a doubt I've had with the previous opus, which was that the band is in search of an identity of their own.

The band has now a new singer, Tommi Lion (ex-Drifter) who takes the place of Michael Schinkel. Now it doesn't seem to affect the overall sound that much, I still don't know if I prefer him than Michael. Anyway his vocal abilities are quite good and the only complain I would have to fire is that I believe he doesn't use his abilities in the best of ways, choosing some strange techniques and tones sometimes sounding old-school and odd in the same time. The overall music atmosphere varies a lot during the album, it seems that the band jumps from True Metal melodic double bass attack style to straight forward Heavy Metal and then back to Prog moments à la Symphony X (especially the keyboards) and so forth... like I said, craving for an identity. This time the influences are no longer those of Hammerfall (and I ask myself why ?) like it was the case with their first opus, but more US power metal act like Jag Panzer, or the British masters Judas Priest. The production is, let's be frank : poor to say the least. It sure beats many of Italian acts (in comparison) but still it's not really worth of a 21st century production and I'm persuaded that this medium production is one of the thing that holds this album back. In the end I find myself amazed by some moments, some compositions or some amazing choruses like in the song Children Of The Dawn or A Dragon's Tear. But while in contrast some moments, some transition are quite clumsy and the style changes from song to song is disturbing me (especially some singing styles...) . The band has talent, but still something is missing, maybe some magic out of their tunes as some don't sound original for a dime. The one things that saves the day are the guitars, excellent riffs, strong and powerful with nice melodic solos throughout the album reminding me the best NWOBHM acts.

I'd say that this album is not really a progression from the previous one, not in it's overall at least. I think that the band demonstrate a quite good progress in their abilities as performers, but still the killing songs are fewer than the previous album and although this one is much more mature and much more constant, I find myself quickly bored and have difficulty to listen to the album in it's whole. If you're into Heavy Metal and like Epic stuff with great guitar parts then this album will probably satisfy you, if you on the other hand are in search of more subtle material that sounds more original then I suggest you give it a try before you buy.

Killing Songs :
Misty Hills, Children Of The Dawn & A Dragon's Tear
Chris quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by Stormhammer that we have reviewed:
Stormhammer - Echoes of a Lost Paradise reviewed by Jared and quoted 75 / 100
Stormhammer - Fireball reviewed by Chris and quoted 75 / 100
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