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Essential Power/thrash - 91%

The Sentinel, October 26th, 2005

Hailing from the United States, this EP is Stormtroopers only contribution to the 80’s metal scene. It proves that they had the potential to become a big monster in those days, but after this release it was over and they broke up forever. It seems they had the same fucking problems as dozens of bands of that time, such as no proper record distribution, label problems etc. As it is now this one and only release gives them somehow a total obscure appeal.

As far as the music goes they take the best parts from heavy/power metal and combine it with some sheer thrash brutality. It’s all there, shrieky soloing, powerful midpaced rhythm sections, catchy melody lines and shouting vocal parts ala Exciter in their “Violence and Force” era. The opening track is a somehow long intro, where you hear some bad weather, a bell and a sinister spoken passage. It’s like they recorded this one on a rainy Sunday morning somewhere in a graveyard with a terrible hangover, belching out some cheesy bullshit and went back returning to their beds, but it definitely works well. After this speech hell’s unleashed and all poodles will run for their lives. The title track penetrates your head and will stick there forever, as goes for the rest of the EP. “Steamroller” might sound cheesy at first listen but believe me, after a while it will logically fit within the rest of the songs. “Search And Destroy” is another thrashy power metal splatter with a great chorus. The last track “The Beast Within”, is the highlight of this fest, it’s mean, raw and tears your fucking flesh off. After this it’s over, but hey, for what reason are “repeat buttons” invented, yes that’s right, to play “Armies Of The night” over and over and over…The only drawback would be the production department, it’s bad, but it’s rawness contributes to their special appeal.

Another drawback would be that the original vinyl piece is rare as hell. There is also a picture disc which is even rarer. But don’t worry there are some bootlegs circulating (Reborn classic for example) and there’s a official cd re-release by High Vaultage with a better production, without losing it’s rawness of course, including some worthless bonus songs (alternated versions of the original songs). So for all nostalgic metal freaks, this one’s in the “buy or die” category.

pure, raw Power Metal - 85%

AUN, September 19th, 2005

Because I bought the bootleg 10 years ago - the vinyl is unaffordable to ordinary people - I am only able to review the four songs from the original release.

The Reaper is a very long intro. It's atmospheric and nice and so on, but definetly to long.

Armies Of The Night: As good as this song is, it's the weakest on this album. It's just to midtempo to keep up with the rest and lacks a bit of the sheer power of the rest of the songs.

Steamroller: Never, ever listen to this track while you are driving! I am serious. You will get yourself killed ;)
This may be the highlight of this "album". It's simple, fast forward and breathtakingly powerful. The vocals of Damian Black electrifies you. Simple but brilliant.

Search And Destroy: At first this songs seems to be just to plain simple, but then if you listen to it it becomes clear that they put so many small changes into the song that it won't become boring. I think this is brilliant for such a very simple song as this is (at least at first glance).
This song may not be as powerful and fast forward as "Steamroller" but it is this song that shows us the potential STORMTROOPER had. Their ability to write simple songs with just enough added flavour that the songs could survive the decades without getting boring.

The Beast Withing: Another stupid intro starts this song but if you get over it you are blasted to pieces and smashed against the wall. This song is the masterpiece of the vocalist.The melody lines are just awesome.

It's hard to treat this album fairly.
On the plus side: Their is only one weaker song - which is quite good, but not good enough to keep up with the rest - but on the minus side: their are only three good ones and that's it.
Than there's the overall sound of this album - as mentioned before i have the bootleg version - which is not very good on the bootleg. You need to hear this album loud but with the version i got you don't want to and that's bad.
So try to get the rerelease!
Then there's the lenght of this EP, it's ok for an EP but the songs were promising and the knowledge that there is no other album is very sad.

If the sound of the rerelease is good add some 10-15 points to my rating and dive into some 80s nostalgia.
Hardly recommended to Power Metal fans mostly because STORMTROOPER played powerful Metal and don't have the typical Power Metal clichés.