Metal is definitely a family affair. It is simply amazing who you meet by simply wearing your favorite band shirt out in public. Well, lucky me, recently I was out and about wearing my Pantera “CFH” shirt and was complimented on my good taste in music and clothing by an enormous wall of a man. Since fellow Metalheadz know no strangers we struck up an easy conversation about all-things-Rock and Heavy Metal. Turns out we both love the same types of Metal and play guitar (alright, I noodle anymore). Cool, right? Well, I’ll be damned! Turns out I was speaking with Ohio’s Norselaw guitarist Deryck Heignum who, like me, moved south to get away from the cold and he has started a new band down here. I let him know that I wrote for MN and would love to check out his band. After exchanging info, we parted on the best of terms. The following day I received an email with his bands information and links. Holy shit! I was not prepared for such a spectacular release. Stormlurker absolutely destroys!
Released late last year, Stormlurker’s debut, self-produced EP, A Dark Formation is another one of those “way too damned good to be a debut”, much less, self produced albums. After listening to countless, less than perfect, self-produced releases, I was immediately dumb struck by the overt quality of A Dark Formation. This thing sounds as good as ANY label-supported band out there thanks to the production and engineering prowess of bass player Stan Martell. Clean, balanced and full in its aural assault on your eardrums. Very, very impressive indeed! The second thing that struck me was Stormlurker’s unique and modern take on traditional, 80’s and 90’s Metal and Thrash without fitting cleanly into either. This is Metal done in the vein of the music I grew up listening to with the mild addition of the modern iterations of Power Metal, Prog and Death Metal while retaining the heavy and fast riffing like that of Slayer or Metallica, the dramatics of background sounds (like thunder, etc.) common way back when and the falsetto, high-pitched screaming of Geoff Tate or David Wayne intermingled with animalistic growling. Hard to place, easy to listen to because everything fits so well together. The best of all worlds, let’s say. Guitar is deftly handled by Heignum. Very heavy rhythms overlaid with virtuosic solos and melodic leads create a full spectrum of head banging mayhem that flows throughout. As good a sound engineer as a bass player, Stan Martell holds down the low end while adding color to this already colorful band. One unmistakable trademark of Stormlurker’s sound is the almost constant time change that brings a level of interesting complexity not often found in modern music. Almost a stutter where the appropriate use of clean guitar, sparkling harmonies and cymbals are used as a bridge from one musical idea to the next. Keeping up with this whirlwind of time requires the skills of a drummer of Austin Lane’s caliber. So many styles are obviously at his disposal from dramatic crashes to speed bordering beat blasting and everything in between; all changed at breakneck speeds. His technique and accuracy never once waiver where lesser drummers would be lost.
I find it amazing that talent at this level has not already been snapped up by a label. While they don’t really need any improvement in sound or engineering, promotional and distribution assistance would get Stormlurker in front of people that would definitely buy and listen to them. This trio of outstanding musicians simply must be heard to be believed. Interesting, unique, heavy, bad-ass and abusive are just a few adjectives that can describe the musical alchemy of Stormlurker!
Song list for A Dark Formation
“Bane Of Giants”
“No Masters But One”