Bart M. : Stoner quintet Desert Storm is back with their fifth album: 'Sentinels'. The word sentinels always has a very powerful aura and the music on this album really does justice to this. The solidity of Desert Storm's new tunes makes this aura even more energetic, and sounds darker and heavier than, for example, their previous album 'Omniscient'.
The band kicks off with 'Journey's End', and a couple of badass riffs lets us know exactly what we're dealing with, especially when after those riffs we are engulfed by a sonic tidal wave that is increased in intensity by Matt Ryan's vocals. The band knows how to keep this and the following songs very interesting by various changes in tempo, nice solos and witty breaks. Heavy music calls for heavy themes and even though 'Journey's End' is meant as a sort of beginning of something new (that is why it is the first track), we also get to deal with topics such as binge drinking in 'Too Far Gone', a meaningful life lesson in 'The Extrovert' and good old fashioned bar brawling in 'The Brawl'. The singer, accompanied by ever grooving rhythms, knows how to bring these things in a very convincing way. I never doubted for a second that the guy is sincere and knows what he is talking about. The lyrics are well written, I would even call some of them poetic. For me the highlight of the album, in various ways, is 'Kingdom Of Horns'. The beginning of the song summons an image of murky swamp waters that are being shown upon through the reeds by a low hanging sun. The quiet music and serene vocals create quite a mysterious atmosphere that is sometimes broken by heavy bass and drums and riffs to bring us some kind of horror from the deep, only to return again and eventually culminate into an epic end battle, both musically and imaginary. Brilliant.
A great album. If you want to witness them live, Desert Storm is currently touring through Europe. Visit their Facebook site to look up the dates.