The story goes that these New Zealand brothers rocked up in America, they knew nobody and, after working their arses off, ended up touring with rock giants like Alter Bridge, Creed and Shinedown. It’s a dream story for the Brooks brothers and also one most aspiring musicians can only dream off. A deal with Century Media in 2014 saw the band hole themselves up in Michigan to record their first album for their new home, Awaken The Fire, and the band will have recently been on European soil supporting Black Veil Brides and Steel Panther by the time this review is posted.

But what of the music? Well, it doesn’t take long into opener “Chaos” before you can pretty much sum up what Like A Storm are about. Not taking anything away from the band who have seemingly worked their arses off to earn themselves a break, but it all sounds and looks very pristine and very well packaged together.

Everything about this album is immaculate, the lyrics to songs like “Wish You Hell” are ripe to pick off that teen rock audience who idolize the likes of Black Veil Brides. Furthermore, by giving their polished pop-metal a bit of a gritty edge (a la Bullet For My Valentine) they’ve ensured that the metal audience won’t all turn their nose up at the likes of “Break Free” or the alt-metal bounce of “Six Feet Under.” However, they will probably want to burn their ears when they hear Like A Storm rocking out a rendition of “Gangster Paradise.” There are certain things we can do without and this is one of them.

Now maybe I’m being a cynical old fuck here, but Awaken The Fire just sounds too polished and pristine for these dog-tired ears. It doesn’t sound, for want of a better phrase, real. Maybe the live show will prove me wrong but, for now, New Zealand’s hardest working brothers have left me unconvinced.

Track Listing:

01. Chaos
02. Love The Way You Hate Me
03. Wish You Hell
04. Break Free
05. Never Surrender
06. Become The Enemy
07. Southern Skies
08. Six Feet Under
09. Gangsters Paradise
10. Ordinary
11. Nothing Remains

Run Time: 47:12
Release Date: March 16, 2015

Check out the video for “With You Hell” here.

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.