Truthfully, Storm of Particles is a little rough around the edges as far as the audio quality in concerned and, sadly, it’s the biggest downfall. The demo was clearly on a lower budget, catering to more of an analog cassette approach that does aid in the concept of the band’s name, but that’s about it. All the instruments are captured alright, though the drums can sound a bit more on the distant side due to this and the mastering involved as opposed to the vocals that sound much closer. The guitars also lack some bite at times, such as during the solos, due to favoring cleaner chords instead of the harsher, deeper distortion presented that works nicely with the bass guitar you don’t always hear. When not favoring that darker, heavier side, the music can seem a bit weak and even cluttered. Thankfully this doesn’t always get in the way of enjoying this release.
Storm of Particles also has a pretty clear direction that the band intends to go in, though seems to jump between early Dark Tranquillity sans keyboard with a burdening presence akin to Amon Amarth and even Sentenced. However, you wouldn’t really expect that given the introductory instrumental “The Storm Approaches”, which sets up more of a progressive metalcore atmosphere that quickly wanes as “Sun’s Rising in the Fog” kicks in. The thicker audio quality does allow the bass to come through a little more, though at the sacrifice of the bite the rest of the instruments should have. This is particularly detrimental in the main verses given the technical notes being thrown at the listener before the folkish chorus and following bridges tighten everything up in an undeniably addicting manner.
But then you get “Aurora”, a fairly epic piece with hints of neo-classical strewn about in some of the riffs. It’s a dark, burdensome performance that can channel a bit of nordic black metal frost at times. For a piece that lasts just over five minutes, it doesn’t at all seem it (which is a good thing, mind you). Between the number of infectious hooks and surprising amount of effective changes despite though the shift in the drum pattern approaching four minutes in does seem a bit sloppy, this one effectively establishes what Storm of Particles is capable of, leaving you immediately wanting more. In all honestly, this should have been the closer, as “Silence Screams” simply doesn’t live up to that powerful previous track. The subtle restraint and slow build is again reminiscent of Dark Tranquillity, even down the chorus that leaves you yearning for a better production quality to pull those very melodies forward a lot better instead of leaving them a slightly barren, muddied mess, primarily during the first guitar solo prior to the two-minute mark.
Storm of Particles is a very promising debut recording from the band of the same name, though one could only wish it were a little better in the studio and mastering departments. The performances themselves are often brilliant and leave you not only with a lasting memory of the many addicting passages strewn about, but also feeling a surge of energy through your body from the material. There is no denying this Italian quartet has the chops and ability to run with the big dogs, which is a surprise in and of itself. Rarely do you ever get such a tightly knit and memorable demo recording this day and age, especially from such an early point in the band’s career. Storm of Particles is a name you’re going to want to remember, and a five song recording fans of the melodic death metal genre definitely need to hear.