|Review: Stray Gods - Storm the Walls|
|Storm the Walls|
Label: Rock of Angels Records
Year released: 2022
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: March 9, 2023
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
for:Storm the Walls
Rated 4.5/5 (90%) (8 Votes)
It's been a long time since we were treated to two Iron Maiden studio albums two years in a row. Wait. No, this is Stray Gods from Greece. My bad.
By now you've guessed that they're heavily influenced by Maiden, probably the most blatant example I've heard. This is above all true for the vocals; that guy really sounds like Bruce Dickinson, albeit with one major advantage: he doesn't repeat some lyrics endlessly. Other than that, his voice and vocal line delivery are almost identical. It's crazy. And the guy can deliver the goods as there's nowhere on this album that he sounds like he's trying to get outside his range, so no cringe-worthy lines here. Musically, I'd place Storm the Walls closer to Seventh Son of a Seventh Son and later albums (up to Brave New World) than the earlier stuff, though there's a bit of that in the more straightforward rocking moments.
What I like here is that, for the most part, while this is obviously Maiden-ish, Stray Gods have their own songwriting style and the songs have something different enough that you can tell, "well, this is sort of like Maiden, but it's not Maiden." The songs are under five minutes, except for the excellent title track (and closer) "Storm the Walls" which clocks at 7:44 and also "Silver Moon" (side A closer if you have the vinyl) at 6:26, which I don't like as much (this is the one song where the vocal lines are repeated a bit too much) but it's still very good. The quality of songs varies, but there's nothing bad here, just all-around Maiden worship by a band that does so while doing its own thing. The last Maiden album I really dug was Brave New World, so it's nice to get something more up my alley even if it's not by the British legends themselves. I must have listened to this album nearly a hundred times since I bought it and I still get that urge to hit play again once it's over. Hopefully Stray Gods have more goodies baking in the oven.
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