Review: Stormburst – Highway To Heaven
AOR Heaven (28/08/20)
Reviewer: David Pearce
Stormburst are a group from Sweden who have been together since 2014. They released their first album, ‘Raised on Rock‘, in 2017 and now three years later they have produced the follow-up, ‘Highway to Heaven‘. Their line up consists of bassist Kent Jansson, guitarist Thomas Hansson, vocalist Lars-Ake Nilsson, keyboard player Peter Ostling and drummer Pelle Hinden. Naming their album with a conscious nod to both AC/DC and Led Zeppelin is certainly going to get them noticed as is the album cover with its clear homage to Meatloaf. Let’s see if the music backs up their reference points.
‘Highway to Heaven‘ is a powerful start to the album with crunching guitar and Hinden’s powerful drumming to the fore which Nilsson complements with his Joey Tempest style vocal. ‘Rock n Roll Soldier‘ is a Judas Priest style rock track with a great guitar solo from Hannson and a chorus that will get the crowds singing along when they perform it live.
‘Tonight‘ is a pop rock track reminiscent of Europe that shows off Stormburst’s melodic rock to good effect. ‘Going Home‘ sounds like the Scorpions and showcases their tight playing and ear for a chorus.
‘Closer to Heaven‘ is a song that flies out of the blocks from the start and is definitely my favourite from the first half of the album. ‘Miles Away‘ is the obligatory ballad and once again shows the influence of the Scorpions. It is a good song that makes the most of Nilsson’s voice. ‘Who Do You Think You Are?‘ is the sound of Stormburst letting rip and really showing what they can do. It is a heavy rock track that cranks up the volume on the album to great effect.
The appropriately named ‘Confidence‘ shows a band that have warmed up and are determined to show their heavy rock credentials. The heavier edge really suits them. ‘Run For The Light‘ returns to the softer melodic rock of fellow Swedes Europe but it works well with Nilsson giving another excellent performance.
‘Take Me To The Sky‘ has a Deep Purple sound to both Hannson’s guitar and Nilsson’s vocal which is underpinned very well by Ostling’s keyboard work. ‘Lost In The Night‘ benefits from Jannson’s bass which gives the track a really good platform and is a song that has another excellent guitar solo. ‘Riding On The Wind‘ is my favourite track on the album. It has a driving tune reminiscent of Living After Midnight and Nilsson’s best vocal performance. The final track, ‘One Dream‘, in places very similar to Queen’s One Vision is another soft rock tune that is well delivered by this experienced and talented set of musicians.
This is an album which is great to listen to, but I hope that the next album really takes the heavy rock tracks and puts them front and centre because Stormburst are at their best when they really crank up the volume.