An excellent album that needs to be heard by every fan of power metal out there.
Released by: AFM Records
Release Date: 28 September 2018
Genre: Power Metal
Andy B. Franck: vocals
Torsten Ihlenfeld: guitars
Milan Loncaric: guitars
Antonio Ieva: bass
Dieter Bernert: drums
01. Devil’s Eye
02. Revealing The Darkness
03. Ravenous Minds
04. The Pyre
05. Jeanne Boulet (1764)
06. Divine Inner Ghost
07. When Pain Becomes Real
08. The Four Blessings
09. Haunting Voices
10. The Path
With what is their 12th studio album, German power metal juggernauts Brainstorm are back with their most electrifying album yet. Founded in 1989, this hard-working band have gone from strength to strength over the years, and with Midnight Ghost they prove that they are at their creative peak. The quality of their new album even surprised the band, with vocalist Andy B. Franck adding, “It’s pretty unusual that musicians still get shivers down their spines when they listen to the new material after a long and energy-sapping production. In this case we can really say that all Brainstorm musicians are total fans of our new recording, and Midnight Ghost is the album we want to be measured by in the future.” The enthusiasm is evident in track after track of this inspired explosion of music.
Opening with “Devil’s Eye” which detonates with the power of thundering drums, roaring riffs, and soaring vocals, this exuberant track is the perfect song to set the stage for the metal majesty of the rest of the album. Flowing into “Revealing Darkness” with its gentle intro that builds into a classic track driven along by Dieter Bernert’s rolling double bass which rips through the chorus.
Radio ready “Ravenous Minds” is jam-packed with massive choral elements, powerful riffs provided by Ihlenfeld and Loncaric, and an over-arching sound that wouldn’t be out of place from a band like Nightwish. It is easily the stand-out track on the album, and it’s bold, larger-than-life sound is completely infectious.
“The Pyre” is a bombastic wall of sound that rips through you from end to end, with Andy Franck’s vocals wailing out over the catchy, expressive, and powerful music being produced by the band.
The album takes a dramatic turn with “Jeanne Boulet (1764)” which Franck adds is, “about strange events that took place in Gévaudan in southern France 250 years ago when around 100 children, adolescents and women were killed by a wild animal.” With a dark melody offset by the clang of bells and chimes, pipes, haunting choral sections, harmonic riffs, driving drums, superb vocals and Antonio Ieva’s sonorous bassline tying everything together, this song is a masterpiece of power metal. I could imagine this song backed by an orchestra and full choir at a concert. Either way, it will be stunning live. This track segues into a true Brainstorm classic, “Divine Inner Ghost” with its ripping riffs and immense chorus, this is bound to be a live favourite, with plenty of fist-pumping fury to get the fans thrashing about with wild abandon. “When Pain Becomes Real” may open with a section that makes you think that this may be a ballad, but it’s soon obvious that it’s a proper, classic, hard rock anthem crafted for the arena. “Four Blessings” and “Haunting Voices” are tight productions of crunching guitar, thrumming bass, booming drums, and strong vocals. Like “When Pain Becomes Real” these tracks were clearly written for the live audience. “The Path” opens with a stripped-back acoustic sound with layered synths behind it before building into a power ballad which brings the album to a close with stunning effect.
While not a typical concept album, there are over-riding themes explored throughout Midnight Ghost which link all the tracks together through their collective exploration of the many things we fear from an early age. However, while the themes may be dark, the music is bright, full of life, and even uplifting at times, in the way that only power metal can achieve. Produced by Seeb Levermann, Midnight Ghost started to come together while the band were on their last tour, but as Franck adds, “our collaboration with ‘Seeb’ really struck home. He was not only our producer during the three months’ recording process, he was practically our sixth band member. Seeb helped us to draw on our greatest strengths and take Brainstorm to another level.” This can really be heard and felt in the quality of the band’s performance while recording but also in the excellent production Seeb has crafted with Midnight Ghost. It is an excellent album that needs to be heard by every fan of power metal out there.
Written by: Erik ‘De’Viking’ De’Scathebury
My Global Mind – Reviewer / Music Journalist
Erik De’Scathebury is a freelance music journalist based in the South of England. His musical interests include rock and metal in all its forms, and he is constantly on the lookout for new bands and genres to discover and later preach about to the masses.
Socials: Twitter: @Erik_DeViking Instagram: @Erik_DeViking Last.FM: @Erik_DeViking Spotify: Erik De’Viking