[Editor’s note: This review was originally published on Nov 25th, 2020 for BuriedOnMars.com]
I’m picky when it comes to (for lack of a better term) “hair bands”. Van Halen, Cinderella, or early Guns ‘N Roses is as close as I can get. But those bands were more “hair” adjacent, separated by a unique sound.
That’s how I feel about Storm Force. Genuine. And I suppose you would have to be to release an album of this type in 2020 without a lick of irony.
The band was put together by veteran of the Canadian hard rock scene Greg Fraser. So we got:
Greg Fraser – Lead guitarist, formerly of Brighton Rock
Patrick Gagliardi – Lead vocals, formerly of Surface Tension
Brian Hamilton – drums, formerly of Panik and Step Echo
Mike Berardelli – bass, formerly of touring and studio sessions
Their debut album, Age of Fear came out pre-Covid this past January which makes the first lyrics for the opening track Because of You truly mind blowing:
I heard on the news today,
It’s all about to change,
But I think we’ll be OK,
The eyes in the sky are within range
Geez, did these guys invest in a crystal ball or something?
Here are some other highlights from the album:
- Because Of You not only has those Nostradamus lyrics, but I love the Van Halen 1984 style opening.
- Breathe, my goodness this song knocks me out. A duet with Serena Pryne who has a stellar voice. However they found her, I’m just glad they did.
- There are a few ballads on here. Ember Rain, More Than You Know, and Different Roads. I normally don’t go for ballads. At all. But I like these. Zero urge to skip them.
- This album has both kinds of guitar chugs that I like. The Heart kind on Ride Like Hell and the Blizzard of Oz kind on Ringside.
- I love the sleazy rocker that is Dirty Vegas.
- I like how Weight of The World wraps up the album with the sharp power chords at the end. Good times.
- There are really no weak moments through out. Solid from start to finish.
I hate to say that Age of Fear would be huge if released in 1988 because it suggests that it doesn’t have a chance today. But, the reality is most ignore this type of music now. I’m positive I would not have heard of Storm Force if it were not for some of my fellow bloggers hammering on their keyboards about how good this album truly is.
But they did, and now I’m adding my voice to those who can easily recommend Age of Fear. Even if you haven’t been a fan of ’80s
hair bands melodic rock in the past, this transcends the genre.