Sunday, July 29, 2012

Stormtrooper - Armies Of The Night [1985] (EP)

The early and primitive aesthetics of many metal sub-genres were reached their climax during the time where they were first born, and no matter how much you enjoy the brickwall superiority and contemplating complexity of modern power metal bands, you can’t deny that the genre was at its best during the early/mid 80’s when it was dominated by pure raw energy, and the USPM scene always mustered some of the best metal around, brisk, tight, catchy, and even bedecked with carnivorous evil at times. Iron Cross’s sequential debut album is the best example to the early, evil-tinged power metal, and their fellow countrymen Stormtrooper is an act even more obscure, yet just as deadly and vigorous.

The year is 1985, and the USPM power metal classics have just been unleashed, with many more to come, and Stormtrooper’s debut Ep, ‘’Armies Of The Night’’ proves to be an especially original (for the time) five track barrage of early thrash savagery mixed with an energized portion of USPM a la Jag Panzer, and a dose of NWOBHM, since many genres haven’t culminated at that time. The production quality is also surprisingly clean, rendering the instruments audible, but a gritty tone is naturally unavoidable.  Stormtrooper even exploit a bit of punk to add some steam and intensity to the foray of riffs, but there’s also plenty of melody, not just bland chords played in an inexorable attitude, but a fresh breath of air every time another song kicks in. Another record that definitely contributed in the main structure of ‘’Armies Of The Night’’ is undeniably, ‘’Kill ‘Em All’’, but the music here is slightly more epic shrouded in fog than the genre defining masterpiece, and you can also be sure that’s it’s not as sordid, since this is after all power metal.

The rough, croaky delivery of the vocals is perfect for the music under it, raw, evil-natured and frantic, and even raspy when he tends to shriek out, a bit like Millie in his early days. But even though it’s raw and gritty, ‘’Armies Of The Night’’ is surely not dissonant and devoid of harmony, and ridiculously catchy, at that. Unfortunately, it Stormtrooper did last long, and shortly after this, their sole, release, the band disbanded, leaving us with only eighteen minutes evil power/thrash. Perhaps the Ep may not be on par with its peers that helped shape the genre, but it’s an Ep that any resident USPM fan should be zealous about.

''Armies Of The Night''
''The Beast Within''

Final Rating
Awesome [8.3/10]