STORMZONE – Caught In The Act

STORMZONE - Caught In The Act
  • 7.5/10
    STORMZONE - Caught In The Act - 7.5/10


Label: Escape Music
Release date: January 21, 2007

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Stormzone is an A.O.R./NWOBHM band, from Belfast, Ireland. They were formed in 2004 and all five members of the band have played in various Irish Rock bands. Vocalist John Harv Harbinson was earlier in Sweet Savage, Emerald, No Sweet, and Den Of Thieves. Now he fronts the 80s Rock tribute band Rock Of Ages and Whitesnake tribute act Snakebite, as well as Stormzone, and naturally this has a huge impact on the music of this record.

Caught In The Act is Stormzone’s first release and it’s filled with strong Melodic Rock songs that are reminiscent of 80s Classic Rock bands like Rainbow, Deep Purple, and, of course, Whitesnake. Stormzone did not invent the wheel with this release, but they give us a real good blast from the past with pompous keyboards, vocal harmonies to the max, polished sound, and sing-along potential. Previous to this record, they have been touring with bands like Danger Danger, Danny Vaughn, and Jeff Scott Soto.

“Spellbound” is the album starter. It begins with some pompous keyboards and a typical 80s guitar riff. It could easily remind you of a mix between Deep Purple, Dio, and Whitesnake. Harbinson’s vocals are amazing, and soothes the music well. He has the distinct 80s voice, but still manages to sound a bit unique. He reaches the high notes without any complications, and nails the slow-paced parts where he sings low-pitched just as great. Towards the end of the song, there’s a twist to the vocals that makes him sound like a robot or something. It sounds kinda cool.

“Stranger Things Have Happened” is a power ballad. It’s a beautifully optimistic song, which allows Harbinson to show off his vocal abilities. The guitar solo is also great. Guitarist Keith Harris follows the melody line and does some experimenting over it. It’s simply one of those songs that are needed on an A.O.R. album, and Stormzone does this skillfully.

“Call Of The Wild” is a song with a little more rawness than the other songs on the record. It’s bound to get stuck in your head after listening to it. There is a catchy chorus, and, OH MY GOD, the guitar solo parts are simply unbelievable. They’ll blow your mind when you first listen. At the end, the intensity is amazing and Julian Watson on the drums even uses double bass drum pedals just to top it all. One negative remark is that he’s chosen to use a tambourine that really destroys the rawness of the snare drum. In spite of this it is a wonderful song and probably the best on the record!

The record is produced by Mudd Wallace and he has done a good job with the mix. The sound is just as pompous and great that it should be with true 80s style A.O.R. It’s actually great to listen to and there are almost no flaws in the production. The only negative thing is the drum sound. It should have been more pompous, because it sometimes sounds like drummer Watson is beating a carton box. The drums sound a bit demo-ish and that’s no good for a band like this.

Harris really impresses with some great guitar solos throughout the album, and Harbinson’s vocals are astonishing. There are many similarities between Harbinson’s vocals and the legendary David Coverdale. Though there are some great moments on this record, they don’t reach all the way up to the top. That is probably because bands like this never really leave the 80s, but are stuck in the place that was ruled by bands like Whitesnake. It’s difficult to evolve and take this genre to the next level, but Stormzone has something great going on, and the expectations towards a future release should be high. With that said, it should also be mentioned that the music itself is great, and if you like 80s styled A.O.R./NWOBHM, you’re gonna love this fine release.


John Harv Harbinson (vocals)
Keith Harris (guitar)
Stephen Prosser (keyboards)
Peter Rondo Macken (bass)
Julian Watson (drums)


  1. Spellbound
  2. Hold Onto Her Love
  3. Stranger Things Have Happened
  4. Nervous Breakdown
  5. Crying In The Rain
  6. Call Of The Wild
  7. Beating Of A Heart
  8. New World
  9. Tuggin’ At My Heartstrings
  10. Sky High
  11. Rock On Through The Night


  • Kristian Singh-Nergård

    Kristian is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He is Metal Express Radio's Marketing and Communications Manager, and on occasions also reviewer and photographer. Based out of Oslo, Norway, Kristian is a bass player and owner of the independent record label Pug-Nose Records. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2006.

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