Review by Ian Savage
Should you be looking for an underground British metal ‘supergroup’, you’ll struggle to find one with a better pedigree than Stormbringer. Formulated in late 2011 and bought to fruition over the last year or so following the indefinite hiatus of Viking Skull and dissolution of Nekkrosis, guitarists Dom Wallace and Ash Smith have teamed up with ex-members of Deadeye and Zoot Allures amongst others to produce MMXIII.
The slightly hackneyed opening title track, replete with rumbling thunder effects, gives way to ‘Gazing At The Grave’ and ‘Mark Anthony’, both full-bore riff-laden slices of modern metal which allow relative new-boy Mike Stockley to stretch his capable vocal chords. As MMXIII progresses, we’re treated to further headbanging gold like ‘Grinder’ and ‘Welcome To Hell’ , alongside some superb grooving Alterbridge-esque numbers like ‘Destroy’ and ‘Submerged’.
It’s by no means a flawless album, sadly. At times it drags under the weight of riffs and solos stretched out just that that little bit too far (‘Destroy’ and ‘Sanity’ being cases in point), ‘Darker Days’ is frankly filler, and as a complete piece of work it just lacks that spark that makes a record indispensable.
MMXIII is certainly worth a listen for any metal-head wanting some groovy, foot-tapping music with meaty riffage and excellent vocals, but be prepared to skip a few tracks after a couple of listens. This reviewer suspects an amazing live show might be in the offing though and with the lineage of the band members they should be worth catching.
7 out of 10
- Gazing At The Grave
- Mark Anthony
- Save Me
- Darker Days
- Welcome To Hell