Brainstorm
On The Spur Of The Moment 

AFM Records 2011

Germany is a huge hub for powermetal and Brainstorm are longtime veterans of this deep and talented scene.  On The Spur Of The Moment is their ninth full length album and my first exposure to them.  With such a long recording history I actually expected more from this band.  The album is somewhat flat as I find very few gripping vocal lines and almost no catchy riffs.  Brainstorm have all the typical elements of Power Metal and woven them into an album that lacks any sort of adventure or for a lack of a better word, Power.  Take album opener Below The Line, some mild melodies, decent midtempo drumming, "vanilla" guitar soloing and mature yet uninspiring vocals.  In The Blink Of An Eye picks up the energy a bit and gallops out with some thick grooves which underpin Andy's soaring voice.  The whole track has an anthemic feel to it, but never quite rises above itself to deliver that fatal blow.  Though there is a point where it threatens with chugging guitars followed by a tepid solo.  In These Walls starts with some clean guitar and an epic sense of grandeur, but it all actually feels flat.  The one time on the album that I feel my pulse raise a little is on the album's closer, My Own Hell.  It is a slow burner.  Building its simmering menace, a bit like some of the midtempo pieces on Judas Priest's Painkiller.  On The Spur Of The Moment is an album that checks all the blocks for a power metal, but in the end feels like a color-by-numbers album that is flat.  It makes me think that with all this age and maturity Brainstorm have slowly weeded out all their sense of adventure and recoiled from any risks.