Released: 2006, Gold Storm Records
This group that plays basic metal/hard rock with some leanings toward power metal and classic metal styles is the project of Mick Cervino. For those who don’t know, Mick is a bass player who has been involved with various well-known artists through the years, including Yngwie Malmsteen and Ritchie Blackmore, two artists who not only contribute in some way to Violent Storm’s debut release (Malmsteen with two solos and Blackmore with a songwriting credit), but also serve as the main inspiration for the theme of the tracks that make up STORM WARNING. On top of these two marquis names, Roy Z lays down a few guitar lines and K.K. Downing, who also provides some guitar, handles production, making this an album that most would expect to be exceptional. Unfortunately, things do not work out that way as we are given a rather bland and forgettable affair.
The album starts off with one of its heaviest and speediest numbers, “War No More,” featuring a typical squealing and yelping guitar solo from K.K. Downing. “Fire in the Unknown” follows and shares a similar upbeat tempo, this time featuring the shredding of the self-proclaimed master of guitar theory, Yngwie Malmsteen. Both of these tracks are extremely melodic and have a sort of catchiness to them. Unfortunately, they are just so generic in composition that they leave very little impact on the listener. After these tracks, things get even worse, though, as the songs degenerate into a mid-tempo malaise that will do very little to excite most people. Through this stretch of the album, there are some groovier cuts, like “Deceiver,” and a few plodding, modern-styled tracks, like “You Don’t Care” and “Owning You.” It’s not until the second last track that things pick up in tempo again with, “Empty Hope,” one of the more spirited songs offered here. When all is said and done, the overall direction of the album feels unfocused and thrown together.
You wouldn’t really point to anything on this album as being terrible, though; you just wouldn’t call any of it great. The production is rather clean, the vocals are of the melodic quality you would expect from this type of metal, and obviously most of the guitar work is great since it is delivered by some of the industry’s best names. Ultimately, though, even after listening to the album a few times, you will likely draw a blank if you try to look at the song titles and recall anything about the song that each title represents, and that is never a good thing. What should have been an album of songs inspired by its influences turns out to be a cheap imitation of them instead.