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Norsemen

   
       
       
       
     
             
Stormwarrior are a heavy metal band from Germany formed in 1998 releasing their self titled debut album in 2002. Their sophomore album 'Northern Rage' followed in 2004, with the live album 'At Foreign Shores - Live In Japan' a 2006 release. Three more albums over a six year period, 'Heading Northe' (2008), 'Heathen Warrior' (2011) and 'Thunder & Steele' (2014), solidified their position as a force in the power metal scene. The bands sixth studio album 'Norsemen' was released in 2019.    
             
The main theme of the album is the life of Norsemen warriors - starting from the (sword) fight to the relationship with the Gods, living and dying as part of the shield wall on the battlefield, and finally the arrival at mighty Valhalla. And what an album it is... From the moment it launches forth with the two minute atmospheric intro 'To The Shores Where I Belong', it crackles and fizzles at high velocity for the full fifty minutes, and it's a totally ballad free zone. So let's get on this roller coaster ride and enjoy the excitement - 'Norsemen (We Are)' is a frenetic and highly energetic opener that storms out of the blocks at a hundred miles an hour. Pedal to the metal, 'Norsemen (We Are)' is electrifying, as it hurtles on at full tilt. "foot on the monitor" style heavy metal has never sounded so fierce. A fierceness that doesn't let up with the speedster 'Storm Of The North'. Standing more in the power metal genre than the heavy metal one, 'Storm Of The North' is a tad more melodic with a catchy and quite glorious sing a long style chorus.    
             
I tell ya, the pace of the opening two songs is frightening, and will put a shiver down the spines of the likes of DragonForce and Cellador. However, the pace drops a gear for the highly melodic and infectious 'Freeborn', toeing the line of the great NWOBHM genre. The buzzing guitars and the galloping rhythm is mesmerizing as 'Freeborn' frantically romps on home. At over six minutes in length, 'Odin's Fire' is the longest song on the album...so far. The pace quickens and the intensity rises high, as 'Odin's Fire' blazes a fiery trail across the land leaving scorch marks in its wake. The pace and power of the album is unrelenting, showing no mercy as it thunders on with the power metal pomp of 'Sword Dane'. A fast and furious song, 'Sword Dane' is reminiscent of 'Walls Of Jericho' era Helloween.    
             
Two thirds the way through 'Norsemen' (the album), and I haven't stopped head banging once. The infectious, and quite frankly involuntary nature of the album to make you head bang vigorously, is amazing. None more so than the blistering 'Blade On Blade'. With world land speed records in danger, 'Blade On Blade' mercilessly storms on at a devastating pace. Heads are gonna become just a blur, as violent head banging ensues, breaking necks left, right and centre. 'Shield Wall' is the heaviest song on offer, proceeding to deliver a rampant "foot on the monitor" experience. A little less speed than what has gone before, offers a small breather for the albums showstopper of a final hurrah - an eleven minutes plus epic of cinematic proportions. 'Sword Of Valhalla' is a furious tirade of power, pace, and fire and brimstone. It is highly explosive, massively bombastic, and immensely intense for all eleven minutes, not dropping a gear once. A superbly glorious end to a superb album that will surely make every ones "favourites" section.    
             
Overall, a fast and furious gallop of frenetic heavy metal, delivered at break neck speed, offering total joy and excitement.    
             
             
Review By Iron Mathew Collins    
             
Reviewed For Metal Gods TV    
             
             
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