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Where the northern son was born... - 90%

Sargon_The_Terrible, February 19th, 2008

Hard to believe this is only the third album for Stormwarrior, who have yet to release a bad album, or even one that is not flat-out kick ass. I'm one of those who believes that their debut was better than their follow-up Northern Rage, and I had high hopes for this release. Happily, Stormwarrior have passed all my expectations and released their best album yet with their third CD Heading Northe.

Backing off a bit from the one-dimensional speed of the last album, Stormwarrior have made a more textured and varied album that still hits like a long-handled axe. After you get past the 38-second pointless intro track the title cut cranks up and will get your fist in the air. There is less speed this time out, but the riffs here are much better, and the choruses much more memorable. Lars Ramcke is not really a world-class singer. There are fewer effects on his voice this time, and the more dynamic melodies really point up his limitations, but it must be said he attacks the songs with real energy, and I don't know if it would sound like Stormwarrior without him. Songs like "Iron Gods" and "Remember the Oathe" get back to something like Northern Rage speed, while slower burns like "The Holy Cross" and the awesome "The Revenge Of Asa Lande" show that this band can be hooky without going flat out.

Overall, Heading Northe stands proud as just a great fucking Heavy Metal album. No gimmicks, no tricks, just kickass riffs, ruthless heaviness, and songs that stick in your skull and will put your neck in some real pain. Stormwarrior deliver a killer opener for 2008.

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