Neithan : And finally it is there: the sophomore album by Dutch Onheil (various translations are possible in English, and none is positive), five years after their impressive debut ‘Razor’. In the same line-up as the debut, with a slight nuance within their style. That style has been described as black metal meets Iron Maiden (once made up by an American reviewer). Yes it is a way to describe the band’s style, but going from this description it might not meet your expectations based on this description, even if the frequent twin guitar melodies lay a foundation for a well meant “Scream for me Dordt”. I think the (better) Swedish melodic death/thrash from the nineties and the Finnish extreme bands with their strong guitar melodies are a better reference. With the professional production and mix by Bart Hennephof (Textures) and Yuma van Eeklene (Pestilence) and the heavy mastering by Tore Stjerna at the well-known Necromorbus ‘Storm Is Coming’ has a clear and massive sound, without losing the aggression within the songs.
With two singers (scream and light grunt) and three guitarists, the band succeeds in creating versatility within its style, a style which combines melody and aggression: a kind of Swedish/Finnish sound. The album is more aggressive than the debut and has less melancholy. The thrash influences are also rather nordic and remind me of the better old In Flames and Darkana, with their technical yet aggressive sound. Although the title is ‘Storm Is Coming’, a simple ‘Storm’ would have been sufficient: it can be characterized as an intense storm with here and there some moments of rest: storms which are – as the forces of nature – the key theme on the album. The album lasts 45 minutes and apart from the lenghty title track and ‘Wings Of Death’ we are dealing with intense songs of around four-five minutes with a lot of twin guitar harmonies, yet little solo guitar (something which struck me at the time of the debut as well). ‘The Omega Legions’ seems to start as the mid-tempo headbanger amidst this audio violence, but halfway this song too goes full throttle. Regarding that, the title track has some more variation: logical regarding the seven minutes of duration. Another track that differs a bit to me is ‘The End Of Everything’, because it feels like it has some older influences: the vibe in the riff reminds me of classic Mercyful Fate’s ‘Evil’). Great songs, great skills, so where’s the criticism? Well, ‘Wings Of Death’ is too much orientated on the refrain, yet what misses most is a catchy song, a “hit”: and exactly that is what separates a classic (of which hardly five are made each year) from the great albums. And that is what ‘Storm Is Coming’ is: a great album.
Once more an excellent album by this Dutch band. Okay, it has no refreshing innovative style, yet combines the best of some styles into their own songs. So apart from the missing “hit” there is no real reason why you should not try out this album: an album which is not only good when looking at just the Netherlands, but an album that can meet the international competition (In Flames should wish they could play an album like this these times).