Hey kids, ever wonder what would happen if GRAVE DIGGER and ICED EARTH had a talentless child determined to follow its parents’ style? No? I didn’t think so!
By STORMAGE obliges us anyway with their debut album “Balance Of Power.” Recorded in 2004, in their eighth year of existence, it was released in 2005 under STF Records and is now impotently trying to make some impression, any impression on us. It’s ultimately a completely futile exercise, as “Balance Of Power” just sits there, neither good nor bad but completely homogenous and vanilla. It is truly one of the more remarkable albums I’ve heard in a while for being simply so unremarkable.
Oh yeah, about my comparison earlier. There are several songs that seem to start off with a purloined ICED EARTH riff or harmony (“Another Day” has a similar bass opening to “Damien” and “They Plan To Be Like God” opens with clean, “Dante’s Inferno”-like picking) only to give in to some generally Heavy Metal with Speed and Power moments with shouted group choruses. It’s like the half-written songs found in GRAVE DIGGER’s trash given life.
Usually, this stuff isn’t offensively bad. There are some exceptions (the layered chorus just sounds stupid on “Born To Kill” and “Lost Criminal”), but with the exception of some decent guitar work by, I believe, Hugo Fromm, you won’t find anything that jumps on the positive end of the quality gradient either.
If, for some unfathomable reason, you actually like bland, by all means pick these guys up. It’s easy to find worse groups than STORMAGE, but it’s just as easy to find better groups. (Online March 27, 2006)