Every so often an album comes along that makes you want to stand up, pump your fist, and bang your head like it's 1989. Violent Storm's Storm Warning is one of those albums, but before you start thinking it is some sort of retro-throwback to a bygone era and irrelevant to the current music scene, think again.
It's true it has some big names from the era involved in its production, but like any musician worth his palying ability, they can use their influences and their own origins to forge ahead in crafting music that isn't living in the past. Storm Warning evokes memories of those past years of heavy and power metal, yet fits right in with the sound of today. It may not play well to the Slipknot crowd, but you metal fans know who you are, and you owe it to yourself to give this a listen.
The band is the brainchild of Mick Cervino, former bass player for G3, Yngwie Malmsteen and Ritchie Blackmore. He has brought together a group of musicians to hammer out some great fist pumping metal tunes to crank up on your stereo. Helping out on this journey are KK Downing. Yes, that KK Downing, one half of the legendary Judas Priest duo, who produced the album and appears on two songs. Roy Z, longtime partner to Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson mixed and engineered the album in addition to appearing on a pair of tracks. Finally, there is Yngwie Malmsteen who solos on two tracks with his unmistakable style. Yes, there is a high amount of talent involved in the making of this album, so now the question is whether or not it lives up to it.
The answer is a simple "yes." This album hits hard and doesn't let up. It is an album centered on the stringed instruments, featuring some frenetic fretwork from both guitar and bass, in addition to a trunkload of chunky riffs. Not to be left back, there is some good singing, and a few songs with decent drumwork. While the drumming is decent, it is the weakest part of the album. I believe it relies on a drum machine for most of the work as there are only three songs with a credited drummer, Mike Sorentino.