Stormhammer - Echoes of a Lost Paradise - (8.5/10)

Published on August 8, 2015


  1. Rememberance
  2. Glory Halls of Valhalla
  3. Fast Life
  4. Echoes of a Lost Paradise
  5. Leaving
  6. Bloody Tears
  7. Holy War
  8. Black Clouds
  9. Into Darkest Void
  10. Promises
  11. Stormrider
  12. The Ocean


Epic Power / Speed Metal


Massacre Records

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Stormhammer have apparently been whetting their armament atop the Teutonic grindstone shared by the likes of their epic power metal brethren like Rebellion, Stormwarrior and Wizard. The biggest difference lies in the fact that these guys have been relegated to some sort of second-stringer position, and have failed to make much of an impact in an admittedly overstuffed genre/scene. Does this speak of a compositional deficiency or a poorly drawn hand right from the outset? Having only limited exposure to Stormhammer on the whole, I approached Echoes of a Lost Paradise with some apprehension, since such a bloated album length usually speaks of a rambling inability to get to the point in a genre well known for the interminable. While Echoes of a Lost Paradise fails to sidestep such pigeonholing, it does manage to maintain the listener’s interest and lives up to the “epic” tag as well as just about anything.


The psychological geography mapped out by the overt Bathory and Manowar influence is one most of us certainly aren’t unfamiliar with, yet Stormhammer are honest and ambitious in their approach. This is undoubtedly a big sounding record, with Jürgen Dachl’s conviction-adorned roars manning the oars and barking orders fit for any erstwhile infantry. Expect lots of throaty bellows with the occasional death growl evoked to stimulate on command. Dachl toes the line between clean singing and pseudo-growling, reminding me of Michael Seifert from Rebellion. An inflection fit for a king, and one that certainly demands attention and sells the ostentatious atmosphere that pervades within. Stronger moments include the title track and “Leaving,” which careens by with magnificent keyboard arpeggios intertwined with epic speed metal riffs that maintain a steady mid-paced romp that details most of the record.


Echoes of a Lost Paradise seldom breaks loose enough to devolve into a muddied groove, instead clasping the hilt of heavy/speed metal in a manner that pays respectable homage to the legendary forebears mentioned earlier in this piece. The band surprises on more than a few occasions with catchy refrains and hooks that work within a major key like “Promises,” which gels splendidly with a simple keyboard line and spartan lead patterns. It is an exercise in “less is more” in a style that is oftentimes far too overcooked for its own good. In fact, a lot of this reminds me of Greece’s Sacred Blood, whom I reviewed a few months back. Both bands use a lot of keyboards but in a manner that eschews pedantic excess, instead focusing on the riffs first and foremost; and it really does become evident on multiple spins. There are a lot of great tunes here, and nothing that even comes close to sucking. “Stormrider’ metes out power metal gusto with aplomb, taking its place in line among quite a few tunes that feel nowhere near their borderline-exhausting runtime.




The guitar tone feels punchy and full-bodied, hardly overly polished and befitting of the grimy vibe that coalesces so well with the glimmering keyboards. There are some imbalances evident at times, but Echoes of a Lost Paradise sounds agreeable enough for an album juggling so many different ideas at once. A few more drops of blood could have potentially been shed if Stormhammer decided to crank the guitars up a fraction or two, but the final product is a coherent and consistent dip into epic waters that all metal fans have dove into once or twice. The powerful acoustic closer “The Ocean” serves as a fitting final piece to this puzzle, and Stormhammer have earned my respect for this album. A collection of metal anthems that contracts with a brutal, hammering confidence redolent of a band with nearly half-a-dozen full lengths under their collective belt. The experience shines through, and a great record remains after the fog of battle fades.


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Author: Christopher Santaniello

Rotten to the core.

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