Ryan Murray | Co-Owner | Chief Editor | Contributor
StormbounD, a symphonic metal band formed in Tel-Aviv in 2018, has just released their debut album “December”, and this is an album you won’t want to miss! This album is an instant hit, from its luscious instrumental arrangements filled with in-your-face riffing and heart pounding drums, orchestrations and the heart-felt and extremely powerful vocals from Yael Horwitz and Ofer Friedman, StormbounD perfectly demonstrates how to hit a debut release with a very mature sound you won’t soon forget!
After their formation, they began writing and performing, instantly making a lasting impression in the local heavy metal scene. Horwitz and Friedman’s voices, both during his clean vocals and more harsh vocals, blend together incredibly well, bringing the incredible sound out even more.
Upon first listen, “December” may feel like the it’s all over the place, maybe even disconnected, but give it another listen! While the material is certainly somewhat multi-layered and takes different approaches, the album as a whole seems to be about the destruction that mankind seems to be charging towards full speed without concern.
Opening this album is a killer song entitled “Desert’s Roar”. Opening with an epic wall of sound crescendoing into strings and full on symphonic bliss, followed by a guitar riff that will not leave your mind anytime soon that you’ll hear throughout the song, this track is a perfect opening! Horwitz and Friedman’s clean vocals on this track have a very power metal feel, with great intensity and emotion throughout.
Songs like “Altar of Innocence” and “Sacred Lies” are in-your-face with some rather brutal but catchy guitar riffs and drums! These songs seem to drive home the idea that the not only is the world corrupted by abuse, racism and hatred among other things, but also drives at the fact that those that use their belief in God as a means to be hateful and a destroyer of all are really just demonizing others with their hollow and empty words. With lyrics like “While you think god makes you strong, it’s me that you demonize. You don’t know what’s right or wrong. Sacred lies blinding your eyes. Torture, hate and death destroying every nation.”, it’s clear that this world is being driven by hate that is destroying everything around us. Loaded with Friedman’s harsh vocals, these songs aptly illustrate the turmoil this world really is in. Horwitz and Friedman’s vocals really go well together all throughout this album, and they perfectly contrast each other when Friedman uses his harsher vocals. There are also some great breakdowns in these songs, as well as some great guitar solos!
Rotem Sadia, while can be heard throughout on synth, really shines on the more standard keyboard driven song “Away From Here”. With a sound not unlike pre “Fallen” material from Evanescence, this track has a very melancholy feel to it. Friedman and Horwitz’s vocals compliment each other really well, fitting really well with the more laidback feel to this song. A crescendo rips the entire band into play just before the 1:20 mark, with a great guitar solo and synth solo, which has a very prog feel to it. The melodic hook is catchy as heck.
At just under ten and a half minutes, “December”, the title track, is an absolute epic masterpiece, and is certainly a stand-out track for me. It’s definitely one of my favorites. With an eerie, apocalyptic atmosphere for the first :40 seconds before the band kicks in! This song is a tour-de-force of what StormbounD is capable of! From straight up metal breakdowns with harsh vocals, to symphonic metal and even prog rock, this epic track will have you begging for more musically! Lyrically on the other hand, this song seems to drive home yet again the idea that we are destroying ourselves and everything around us. With a track and an album called “December” being released in the dead of Summer, I can’t but to see the irony. As climate change continues to wreak havoc on a global scale, and powers that be continue turning a cold and blind eye to doing anything about it, our cold, dark and desolate future becomes more and more certain.
“Shadows” brings a bit of a lighter side to the band with a more acoustic, unplugged and intimate feel, with an absolutely beautiful string arrangement. Yael’s vocals are much more vulnerable here, with a heart-felt yearning to her voice. With lyrics like “I found myself screaming alone in the darkness, because I’ve closed my eyes when your shadows were revealed. I wanted to save you from yourself and cast away your demons. You left me alone.”, it’s hard not to feel the longing this song brings. I absolutely love the guitar solo on this track as well.
“Flying High” is another favorite, and this song is definitely going to get the crowds jumping! With a hook that’s reminiscent of Troy Donockley’s instrumental break in Nightwish’s “I Want My Tears Back”, this song is just a feel-good journey all throughout! With some very prog-like moments, and great guitar riffing, this track is well rounded instrumentally! Vocally, again Friedman and Horwitz compliment each other incredibly well.
The penultimate “Fragments” has an insanely catchy melodic hook within the guitar riffing that is impossible to get out of your head! Friedman’s clean vocals on this track are very similar to Godsmack’s Sully Erna, both in tone and execution. With lyrics like “Do you know how to pick up the broken pieces? Have you ever felt the fragments of life become one?”, this song seems to be about taking the fragments of this broken world and piecing them together to create who were really supposed to be.
As we end this incredible journey, “Child’s Play” sees an incredible message about the hope we have in self discovery, and the journey we take while finding our own path. At just over nine minutes long, this track, yet again, really demonstrates the wide variety of influences StormbounD is able to draw from and how well they can execute it with such a mature sound.
Overall, it’s clear that StormbounD is a force to be reckoned with! Their artistry, talent and musicality, along with their vocals have them primed to take the world by storm! “December” promises a battle to move beyond our self-destructive ways and to look at bettering ourselves to help better those around us as well.
StormbounD’s socials are below!
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