Released: 2013, Transcend Music
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
The sounds of a storm - for a band called Stormbringer it's an obvious soundbite choice, like a horror scream if you're Alice Cooper or a toilet flushing away something solid if you're Lost Prophets or whoever. Comprising Ashley Smith (formerly Nekkrosis), Dominic Wallace (Viking Skull) and cohorts, thankfully MMXIII is less basic in its general thinking.
Rumbles of Black Stone Cherry, flashes of Myles Kennedy vocals, and occasionally riffs that tread close to Black Label Society's feet (although the solo's don't get sniffing distance of Zakk) there's something brewing here and you'd need a good raincoat to prevent any of it seeping through.
Any way you cut it MMXIII is built of riffs as on 'Mark Anthony' and 'Control', whilst 'Grinder' chucks in some metal to attract the lightning. Hard rock is rarely innovative, and the Viking Skull influence is strongest on MMXIII, but that's probably more to do with Stormbringer's choice to base themselves in hard rock than desire to splash in the same puddles.You know it's gonna slay live though like any good storm does. The last thing you want is a damp fizzle when you could have the gods shifting furniture.
It's not perfect though - when is anything? Even the best nights out usually come with a hangover. The hurty-head of MMXIII is 'Save Me' which seems to be a sung-from-the-perspective-of-a-pole-dancer story sung by someone who you suspect has never worked in the adult entertainment industry. It's all very save-little-old-me, although if Mike Stockley has shaken his money-maker in a spangly outfit then perhaps you can read it as a genuine cry for help. It does swing around a tasty chugger though. That's a riff - just clarify.
Although MMXIII sounds knocked together in terms of that easy jam feel, it's solid enough that it won't blow away in the first sign of a breeze.That's good cause Stormbringer have the mark of being more than just a storm in a teacup. Umbrellas at the ready.
Review by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs