Stormhold – “Salvation” (Pure Steel Records)
Hailing from Sweden, Stormhold certainly have plenty of stirring warrior passion in their souls, but while being undoubtedly heavy, offer something different to their fellow viking brethren. Owing a great deal to Iron Maiden, these Swedes stylishly mix in their own elements of folk and power metal while not going full into the fray of any of these camps. Stormhold have always had high ambitions, and with over 150 international live shows, 2 EPs and 1 album already under their bullet belts, “Salvation” is their 2nd full length offering, coming right after a tour with Grave Digger and some shows with Hammerfall and Bullet! Led by Filip Petersson’s soulful vocals and backed by the deep, plucked bass of Jan Ekberg, these guys don’t hold back on their strong melodies delivered in no small measure by the twin guitars of Jonas Nilsson and Jakob Morhed, who besides stirring the blood with their riffs, put out some grade A heavy metal soloing on tracks like the speedy but soulful ‘Heart Of A Hero’, the high speed epic of ‘God’s Crusade’ propelled by Robin Hermansson’s galloping double bass drums and the Manowar-esque singalong of ‘We’ll Never Fall’, complete with chest beating warrior choirs. Mastered with a high end live sound, “Salvation” is a great release that will further enhance the band’s reputation as a much sought after live act, appealing to a cross section of old school heavy metallers, along with the newer breed of true metal maniac!