STORMWARRIOR – Heading Northe

STORMWARRIOR - Heading Northe
  • 8.5/10
    STORMWARRIOR - Heading Northe - 8.5/10


Locomotive Records
Release date: April 22, 2008

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

This band hails from the Northern parts of Germany and is the brainchild of Lars Ramcke a.k.a. Thunder Axe. Stormwarrior released their debut and homonymous album back in 2002 that was produced by Kai Hansen in the famous Hansen Studios. Apart from his trademark work behind the soundboard, Kai supported the band with some guest appearances and by taking them on the road supporting Gamma Ray.

So, after four years from Northern Rage and two years since the live At Foreign Shores – Live In Japan release, the Germans return with a brand new album. This time the production was handled by Lars Ramcke, while the mixing process was bestowed upon Piet Sielck’s skillful hands.

Stormwarrior pay respect to their ancestry by implementing the distinct references to some of the most important Heavy/Power Metal bands of the German scene. So, among the eleven tracks there are fast and galloping rhythm guitars that point to Running Wild during the Under Jolly Roger / Port Royal glorious era. The intro “And The North Calleth For Odin” introduces the fast guitar based “Heading North” that shines with the aforementioned influences. The chorus lines follow the sing-along recipe and they take the listener on the bow of a Drakkar where he can feel the cold North wind on his face. Things get more Epic in a Manowar way with “Metal Legacy” where some classic twin guitar work can be found. “Holy Cross” is probably the best track on the album and clocks in at almost seven minutes where Gamma Ray atmosphere is everywhere — especially present in the guitars (excellent legato) and the vocals. Lars has a very good voice that adopts the high-pitched screams of Kai Hansen, while maintaining his own identity. Back to Running Wild with the excellent “Iron Gods” that has Norsemen instead of old warhorse pirates. Actually, Heading Northe can be characterized as the product of the early German Power scene, but definitely not in a wrong way. These guys do not try to copy all their heroes, but to create a music reference to them, and why not give birth to their own sound?

The music in this album is full of energy with up-lifting tempos like in “Remember The Oathe” and “Ragnarok,” and some slower extra-Heavy Epic tunes like “The Revenge Of Asa Lande” that could remind you something from Bathory’s album Hammerheart. The sound production is flawless and most successful in giving to all these influences a compact form through the eyes of Stormwarrior.

This very good album comes at a moment where the Epic/Power Metal scene looks rather weak — full of average-rated releases that make absolutely no difference. So, whomever has many of the albums by the aforementioned bands should get this album, while the rest should start to get to know this Metal scene through Heading Northe.


  • Dr. Dimitris Kontogeorgakos

    Dimitris was a reviewer and interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He has a diploma in Physics, a Masters in Medical Physics and a doctorate dimploma in Nuclear Medicine (this is the reason for his Dr. title). He was given his first Heavy Metal tape at the age of 12 which was a compilation entitled Scandinavian Metal Attack. The music immediately drew his attention and there he was listening to the first Iron Maiden album, trying to memorize the names of the band members. That was it! After some years, he stopped recording tapes and started buying vinyl records, spending every penny in the local record shop. The first live concert he attended was Rage co-headlining with Running Wild.

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