Reviewed: November 2000
Released: 2000, Metal Blade
Why have I not heard of these guys before? I try to be as much of a student of metal as is possible but every now and then a gem like this slips by me for a little while. Well I happened to catch this one in time. Ambiguity is the latest CD from the German power/thrash band Brainstorm. Brainstorm have been around for 10 years. The released a few demos and had numerous line up changes till the signed with B.O. Records. They released their first CD entitled Hungry that same year and followed it up with Unholy in 1998. Not long after the recording of this CD vocalist Marcus Jurgens left the band. Brainstorm however found an excellent replacement in Henne Basse (ex Powerslave) to tour for the CD. Unfortunately, Henne left to concentrate of Metalium and left Brainstorm to find another vocalist. Well they struck gold with the acquisition of Ivanhoe and Symphorce vocalist Andy B. Franck. He is to be a permanent replacement but will also continue with Symphorce. The lineup for Ambiguity consists of Franck, Torsten Ihlenfeld: guitars, Milan Loncaric: guitar, Andy Mailander: bass, Deiter Bernert: drums with special guest Michael “Miro” Rodenberger: keyboards. Brainstorm also brought in a top notch production crew as Dirk Schlachter of Gamma Ray produced and Sasha Paeth mixed and mastered the disc.
As I have said, Brainstorm are a powermetal band which leans heavily towards the thrash end of the heavy metal spectrum. They kick off the Ambiguity with the double bass ripping track “Crush Depth”. This is a gut pounding introduction to the sound of Brainstorm.”Tear Down The Walls” kicks the CD into high gear with a thrashy track that, to me anyway, a tad like Annihilator. Deiter Bernert does some killer drumming on this track as he mixes things up reminding me of one of my favourite drummers, Bobby Jarzombek of Riot, Spastic Inc. and Halford. This is my favourite song on the disc followed closely by the pure powermetal exercise “Arena”. Andy B. Franck proves that he is no slouch in the vocal department. He has to be one of the best voices in metal today. Not only does he have a powerful voice but he can also hit the high notes when the situation calls. “Maharaja Palace” incorporates a Middle Eastern feel that is a nice contrasting point to the many thrashers on the disc. The mid tempo “Beyond My Destiny” is a classic epic track and they even throw in a piano ballad titled “Far Away” which only adds to my respect of Andy B. Franck.
I only happened across this CD when I was checking out Andy B. Franck’s other band Symphorce. That is a great CD so I figured I would check out his other work. I think both Brainstorm and Andy B. Franck are a perfect fit for each other. The style that the band plays is perfectly suited to Franck’s powerful voice. Lets only hope that this relationship is as permanent as the band says.
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