LIKE A STORM – AWAKEN THE FIRE

Rating: 4.5 / 5
Label: Another Century Records
Label URL: http://www.anothercentury.com/
Released: 2015
Buy album at: http://www.likeastorm.limitedrun.com/
Band website: http://www.likeastorm.com/

LAS awaken the fireBand line-up

Chris Brooks (lead vocals, guitar, didgeridoo, keys/programming)
Matt Brooks (vocals, lead guitar, keys/programming)
Kent Brooks (bass, vocals, keys/programming)

Track listing
  1. Chaos
  2. Love The Way You Hate Me
  3. Wish You Hell
  4. Break Free
  5. Never Surrender
  6. Become The Enemy
  7. Southern Skies
  8. Six Feet Under
  9. Gangsters Paradise
  10. Ordinary
  11. Nothing Remains (Nihil Reliquum)
Review

Like A Storm is a New Zealand band that lives up to its name – not exactly for a violent nature, as it’s not the case, but because the mix of good ol’ hard rock foundations with modern programming has the potential to blow you away.

“Awaken The Fire” is their third album, but I guess it could be considered their second, as all songs in the previous “Chaos Theory: Part 1” are also featured in here. Can’t say if they’ve suffered any remixes, didn’t listen, but since they’re all quite powerful and catchy tracks, it was the wise choice to re-release them along a few others now, when they have an international label.

The didgeridoo on “Chaos”, combined with the synthesizers, enhances the melody’s appeal, making it a dark and seductive rock tune. Kind of perfect for an opening track. “Love The Way You Hate Me” is the proverbial rock hymn, and yes, the title is catchy, but the song itself is much more. And there’s the didgeridoo again, enthralling your senses. Since the creation of this wind instrument is credited to the Indigenous Australians, and Australia and New Zealand are neighbors, I think I’m not being unfair by saying that the Brooks brothers (did I tell you that the three members of Like A Storm are brothers?) must be really proud of using a traditional instrument from their region and actually making it work in their music. I know I would be.

“Wish You Hell” starts off with a Southern Rock vibe, that returns on a couple of breaks along the song, but it’s mainly a sharp rock song – a great sharp rock song – just as “Never Surrender” and “Become The Enemy” turn out to be. Both “Six Feet Under” and “Nothing Remains (Nihil Reliquum)” tone down the briskness a notch – the latter even including some solemn prayers – but keep them just as intense. And then the ballads “Break Free”, “Southern Skies” and “Ordinary”, because it’s mandatory for a good rock band to show a softer side and Like A Storm use the three formulas of it – the electric one on the first, the half-acoustic, half-electric on the second, and the totally acoustic, with some delicate synths, on the third. So don’t think for a second that having three ballads on the same album mean you’ll experience the same thing three times.

And then there’s the cover of Coolio’s “Gangster’s Paradise”. Remember that song, actually spelled “Gangsta’s Paradise”? From the Michelle Pfeiffer movie in 1995? Like A Storm picked it up and turned that hip-hop anthem into a juicy rock song, that you’ll still recognize in a heartbeat. Amazing what just a little change in instruments and different vocal intonation can do to a song…

From what I’ve gathered when reading their bio, the Brooks brothers are a hardworking bunch. Well, keep it up, gentlemen – it’s paying off.

Review by Renata Lino
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