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Listening to Brainstorm’s 8th studio album I’m not quite sure what to make of it. I like it but, for reviewing, it’s hard to generalise... but I shall have a good go! It touches on many sounds but, at the same time, it doesn’t really commit to any of them permanently; there’s a lot of diversity here and yet it’s painfully consistent at times. If I had to put this in a genre I would say Heavy Metal, but in a lot of the songs that simply doesn’t ring true. For example, there are many songs where the guitars are nothing more than droning background music and yet other ones, such as the great ‘Blood Still Stains’ where the riffs say more than the vocals ever could. Andy B. Franck’s singing really is what keeps this album together, ranging from melodic to aggressive but carried by emotion. In some instances I couldn’t help but draw a parallel with the famous Bruce Dickinson, definitely not helped by the Maiden-esque opening to ‘The Conjunction of 7 Planets’. Real treat of the album comes in the form of the song ‘Victim’; unlike many of the songs on this album ‘Victim’ is a much more complicated affair, a welcome break that’s surprisingly not brought down by the odd inclusion of a sound effect that wouldn’t be out of place in Scooby Doo upon sighting a ghost. Being a speed freak I was pulled in by the faster songs such as ‘Cross the Line’ and the ‘Ahimsa’ whereas other songs struggled for my attention. This is one of those nice albums with a few really good songs, instead of really good bits of songs. Whilst personally it feels like there’s some substantial filler, I can see how my junk would be another man’s treasure, and vice versa. Describing it as having bouncy riffs and often catchy choruses makes it sound like a pop-rock record but ‘Memorial Roots’ has its feet firmly on the metal ground. There are no gimmicks or weirdness; it’s just a straight out metal record.
AFM Records
Review by Nicholas Dishington
18th Oct 2009
1) Forsake What I Believe
2) Shiver
3) The Conjunction of 7 Planets
4) Cross the Line
5) Nailed Down Dreams
6) Blood Still Stains
7) Ahimsa
8) The Final Stages of Decay
9) Victim
10) When No One Cares
11) Would You
"...‘Memorial Roots’ has its feet firmly on the metal ground. There are no gimmicks or weirdness; it’s just a straight out metal record."