Sturm und Drang - Rock 'n' roll children 4.5/5

Reviewed: 7-10-09





Tracklist:

1. Last of the heroes
2. River runs dry
3. Break away
4. Sinner
5. A million nights
6. Alive
7. These chains
8. That's the way I am
9. Life
10. Heaven (Is not here)


One year has passed since Finnish metal group Sturm und Drang released their debut CD, ‘Learning to rock’, which received some great reviews around the globe. These kids have now released their 2nd CD, called ‘Rock ‘n’ roll children’ (released in November 2008) and it seems that they have toughened up a bit since the debut.

After the release of ‘Learning to rock’, the boys toured Finland, central Europe (opening for Apocalyptica) and also Japan; performing in over 100 shows. Sturm und Drang also played the Wacken Open Air Festival (held annually in Germany); in what would have been an awesome experience for the young lads.

Now a year older and wiser (16 and 17 at time of release), Sturm und Drang have progressed naturally into the kind of sound they have been striving for. On the debut, Sturm und Drang re-visited the 80's hair metal scene, while adding their own signature to their songs. With the tracks for ‘Rock ‘n’ roll children’ again written by vocalist Andre Linman and his father/band manager Patrick Linman, there is a lot more aggression and speed in their sound; with a modern European melodic power metal/hard rock feel.

With influences ranging from Stratovarius, Judas Priest, Sonata Arctica and Dream Theater, Sturm und Drang have really improved quite a lot from their tentative debut release. More sure of themselves this time around, the opening track “Last of the heroes” is a thundering statement of intentions; the track beginning slowly with a guitar build-up, which reminds me of early Metallica. This soon turns into a cracking riff with a keyboard melody and the song is ablaze of speedy guitars and energetic and ferocious vocals. The track is easily one of the best as it hammers along, not forgetting the great solo in the middle.

More aggression comes in the form of “Break away”, the first single of the CD. Hearing a Sonata Arctica influence, the song is guided by the keyboards and twin guitar attack as the song pounds along, with another catchy and strong chorus. “Sinner” is a mid-paced hard rock number and a top one to boot, while “A million nights” pays homage to Stratovarius. In the ballad, Andre Linman sings similar to Timo Kotipelto, as the track could have come straight from one of Strato’s recent releases.

Sturm und Drang crack the tempo up again with the track “Alive”, a melodic metal piece with an 80s feel; and then they once again ring the melodic metal bell with the sensational track “That’s the way I am”. One of the best tracks on the CD, “That’s the way I am” keeps your head nodding with its great beat and catchy sing-a-long chorus.

By now it is obvious that these guys have surpassed their efforts from ‘Learning to rock’ and I still find it amazing that these kids are so talented at such a young age. Their songwriting may still be somewhat amateurish, but they more than make it up in exuberance, maturity, dedication and flair. I definitely recommend all melodic metal and European power metal fans to check out these guys. One way to currently hear their tunes is to go to youtube.com, where you can watch the videos made for “Break away”, “A million nights” and “That’s the way I am”.

With ‘Learning to rock’ being an average to good debut release, I have to say that ‘Rock ‘n’ roll children’ completely shot my expectations to pieces and blew me away with such a fantastic release. These 5 young men have such a colorful future ahead of them and let’s hope that their current form continues to soar for CDs to come.



SEAN




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