Stormzone: Three Kings

Pretension-free, old-school heavy metallers strike gold

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Fittingly, the fourth album from these Northern Irishmen begins with The Pain Inside, a heavy metal-fied speech from Winston Churchill that includes the declaration: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.”

With roots in Sweet Savage, the Belfast group that gave the world Dio, Whitesnake, Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell and the Metallica-covered song Killing Time, their style of music was never fashionable, but as Stormzone have spent the last seven years proving, a little World War II blitz spirit can go a long way if accompanied by the requisite talent.

For starters they’ve a first-rate singer in John ‘Harv’ Harbinson, and secondly they don’t try to overreach themselves. NWOBHM throwbacks Stone Heart and Warbreaker are gutsy, often tuneful ingots of molten intensity, though the latter may perhaps be a bit too shiny and radio-friendly for some Hammer readers.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.