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Like A Storm - Album Review: Awaken The Fire

18 Aug 2015 // A review by Peter-James Dries

This cover was inevitable, and I’m surprised it hadn’t happened before now, twenty years after we first heard it. I know Nu Metal is a dirty word in some circles, but there is no other way to describe Like A Storm’s version of Coolio's Gangster’s Paradise. It’s hard to do justice to a song that saw a lot of us through ’95, as countless bands have proven with terrible covers before, but Like A Storm has pulled of this cross-genre tribute, and it's amazing.

Now, I’ve been criticised in the past for comparing local bands to big name American bands – that is basis of my musical knowledge after all, and a good way to describe the vibe of a band no one’s heard. But no one that’s heard Like A Storm’s new album could be critical of my comparison of the music to Stone Sour, Mudvayne, Disturbed and Linkin Park. Perhaps it’s a product of expatriation, but Like A Storm’s Awaken The Fire is the most Americanised sound I’ve heard from a Kiwi band of late. Take away the hype machine of publicity and the years of experience the big name bands have behind them, and Like A Storm’s Awaken The Fire holds up against these great bands you at one time have called your heroes.

But unlike many bands that seek to emulate their influences, Like A Storm have done the work to carve their niche and own their sound. For example, Mudvayne never had a didgeridoo solo in one of their singles. Listen out for it. You can’t miss it. The first time I heard it I figured it was just a synth, because Metal and Didgeridoo aren’t exactly mutually inclusive ideas in my mind. Well, they weren’t… It really works. There’s always a risk of being that didgeridoo band by throwing it in every song, but the sound fits so well that it needs to be pulled out more in the future.

A mix of the heavy, and the obligatory slow burners, make this a well structured, expertly written and produced album that’s perfect for those that appreciate good music but still hold a grudge against New Zealand Music.

You can find Like A Storm’s Awaken The Fire pretty much anywhere you can find music, and I highly suggest those of the Rock/Metal persuasion don’t hesitate to do so, if only to hear the band pull off the Gangster’s Paradise cover.

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About Like A Storm

With their record-breaking new single, Love the Way You Hate Me, smashing its way onto American airwaves, Kiwi hard rock act Like A Storm have now achieved more successful US Hard Rock singles than any other New Zealand band in history. Hard rock anthem Love the Way You Hate Me, which features singer Chris Brooks playing the didgeridoo, has made an impact with rock fans all over North America - hitting #1 on satellite giant SiriusXM Octane.

Since their debut album, The End of the Beginning, in 2009, Like A Storm have created a compelling musical catalogue and earned the reputation as one of rock's hardest working bands. Five years of relentless touring has seen them share American stages with rock giants Creed, Korn, Alter Bridge, Five Finger Death Punch, Shinedown and many others. As a result, the band of Kiwi brothers has developed one of the most loyal fan bases in the country, and are now a headline act in their own right. Like A Storm's diehard fans - many of whom are inked in the band's artwork and lyrics - are widely known to travel huge distances, and show up hours early, to see the band play at some of the most iconic rock venues in the US.

Originally formed a world away in Auckland, New Zealand, Like A Storm was born when musician brothers Chris, Kent and Matt Brooks first jammed together. Growing up playing in separate bands, the combined chemistry was apparent in an instant. "We just felt this amazing musical connection," remembers guitarist Matt Brooks, "We knew that we had to start a band together."

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Like A Storm

Releases

Catacombs
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Awaken The Fire
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Chaos Theory: Part 1
Year: 2014
Type: Album

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