If I had my way, this review would just be six words long:
“Album of the year. Get it.”
I do not know what else I could say. There are no negative words about this release that I can think of. These Swedish masters of melodic, dark riffs have just put out a masterpiece of an album titled The Storm Within, their tenth, and I cannot stop listening to it. Main songwriter and lead singer Tom S. Englund has created another gem. Starting off with “Distance,” this song has just the right amount of piano and heavy guitars, reminding me of Savatage a bit, but harder. Englund likes to write lyrics from the heart and about subjects close to him, and this song fits that perfectly. The next song, “Passing Through,” I listened to with my mouth open the entire time, the first time I heard it. Needless to say, it’s my favorite on the album, hands down. Haunting, brutal guitars mixed with a heavy bass and drums AND piano and keys? No one sounds like that anymore. This song gave me chills it’s so good. “The Paradox of the Flame,” a song he sings with his wife Carina, is just a beautiful tune of piano mixed with dark melodies and that Evergrey hard edge. You can feel Englund’s emotions while he sings this. The video for this song is stunning with scenes of cliffs and the sea. “The Lonely Monarch,” shines with a two guitar attack from Englund and Henrik Danhage. I can go on and describe every song on this release as a work of art, but even that won’t do it justice. If you are looking for the perfect metal album to get this year, get this one. It’s only September, but right now this is without a doubt my personal favorite album of the year.