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Learning to Rock

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Album Review

Finnish high school kids recording an album of old-school hair metal? The idea sounds awful, but that may partially be the reason Learning to Rock manages to surprise. Sturm und Drang's first album has some bad moments but can be forgiven considering the average age of the kids, and the good moments find the band playing forcefully and not without talent. The single release, "Rising Son", is reminiscent of the glory days of Dio, and anyone misty-eyed for some good old-school metal could do a lot worse than trying out this recording. The band recycles old clichés, but does them with enthusiasm. The lyrics are naïve at worst, but they fill in the spaces between the melodic guitar lines and symphonic keyboards, and lead singer André Linman delivers them with capable pipes that only occasionally remind you of his youth. Overall, the band manages three or four good songs and, as long as they keep the tempo up and running, the album mostly succeeds in modeling itself after their idols'. The one cliché they could have left out is the final power ballad — the bane of all heavy metal —"Miseria," which sounds like nails on a chalkboard. But the kids are young, talented, and still have room to grow, all of which bodes well for their future. The CD's quick chart success has given them a head start, and their touring in Northern Europe is giving them the experience. With any luck, they'll keep up with their homework and manage to graduate with honors (summa cum loud) on their sophomore album.

Biography

Formed: 2004 in Vaasa, Finland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Sturm und Drang is a successful Finnish heavy metal band. The group was formed in 2004 by two friends, André Linman (guitar and vocals) and Henrik Kurkiala (bass and background vocals), after a Judas Priest concert. They soon added three other players to the band -- Jesper Wahlroos (keyboards), Calle Fahllund (drums), and Alexander Ivars (guitar) -- and started publicly playing both original and cover songs soon thereafter. The bandmembers, all 13 and 14 years old at the time, were influenced by...
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Learning to Rock, Sturm und Drang
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