Friday, October 26, 2012

Sturm Und Drang - Graduation Day (2012)

There are few bands that had a carrier like the finnish band Sturm Und Drang. The band became famous pretty quickly after releasing their debut "Learning To Rock" (2007) and the fanbase increased even more after releasing "Rock 'n Roll Children" (2008). The most remarkable thing about the lads was the age (the band had a middle-age around 15 in "Learning To Rock"). But what happened after that? Well, the basist Henkka Kurkiala left the band 2010 and it took a while to gather a replacement. Finally, it was Joel Wendlin who joined the band. But also the guitarist Alexander Ivars left the band (he was replaced by Jani Kuoppamaa). So now, four years since the last album, the rising sons are back with their third offering of straight forward heavy metal.

The album is called "Graduation Day" and just as the title may hint, the material on this record is more mature and more thought-out than the bands previous albums. You will not find a real power monster like "Break Away" or "Alive" but instead you will discover more delicate tracks on this album. One great example of that is "Dark Little Angel of Mine", a song with a really good build up and a solo that is both "shredtastic" but also well constructed. Probably my favourite track in the entire album. Unfortunately, there is not so many of these kind of tracks on this album as I wished it would have. There are a couple of songs that just seems pointless to put up in a album. So I just going to point them out so you does not have to listen to them. The songs are "Molly The Murderer", "Goddamn Liar" and especially "I Hurt Myself". That last song sounds more like Dead By April to me (DBA plays pop-metal, a horrible genre).

Now the guys may be young but they sure know how to handle their instruments. The timing is spot on and the instruments sounds loud and clear. But I miss that level of difficulty. Of course, you do not have to play ultra complex to make a great album but I want the band to show that they hav not only grown in maturity but also in technical skills, which they do not do in "Graduation Day". The only time they are showing their skills is on the guitar solos and there is the only place I notice their quality. Can't they bake it in their riffs and fills as well? It is not like they have to but it would be nice if they did that.

So do Sturm Und Drang deserve to graduate from " The University of Heavy Metal"? Yes, they would pass the class but not with all A's. The band is young and has a fantastic future ahead of them but to continue on this streak the band must keep on working and develope as musicians. I would consider "Graduation Day" the bands best offering up to date together with "Rock 'n Roll Children" but I bet these lads will make bigger and better albums in time. So the last words I will give to the band before they accept their diploma. No more fillers, just make killers.

Songs worthy of recognition: Dark Little Angel of Mine, Fatherland, Light Years Apart

Rating: 7/10 Goddamn Liars

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