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THE STORM

Heavy Prog • Spain


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The Storm biography
A dark cloud hangs over the music of The Storm, an Andalusian outfit that never quite made it. The band was formed in Seville in 1969 by brothers Angel and Diego RUIZ - Angel on guitar and vocals, and Diego on drum's with Luis GENIL on organ and Jose TORRES on bass. However, the band did not release their self titled debut until 1974; the record was quite well received as an energetic example of the link between late 60's psychedelic fuzz and bluesy 70's metal.

Although the band gained further acclaim touring - most notably from fellow flamboyant art rocker Freddy Mercury during a concert in Barcelona - a record deal with EMI fell through. The Storm was plagued by censorship issues (which had led the band to record its debut in English); as tensions grew tempestuous, the band released its second album, 1979's The Day Of The Storm (this time in Spanish). The album was criticized for dropping many of the debut's merits, and was to be their final work. Since the death of Genil in 2004, the chances of a reunion record seem slim, although the band has since reunited on stage.

What is so odd about The Storm is that they seem to have come onto the playing field a bit late. Their Spanish contemporary Triana was deep into symphonic rock, whereas The Storm seems to fit in much more comfortably with the earlier heavy blues of LED ZEPPELIN and DEEP PURPLE, or the freaked out, organ dominated grooves of ATOMIC ROOSTER and PROCOL HARUM. The debut, a prized item among vinyl collectors, is punctuated by passages of deep psychedlia, virtuoso keyboard work and blistering blues, and fans of such sounds in Spanish should seek it out.

Colin (The Whistler).

The Storm official website

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THE STORM discography


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THE STORM top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.03 | 11 ratings
The Storm
1974
2.09 | 4 ratings
El Dia de la Tormenta
1979

THE STORM Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

THE STORM Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

THE STORM Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 3 ratings
Lost in Time
2013

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THE STORM Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Storm by STORM, THE album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.03 | 11 ratings

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The Storm
The Storm Heavy Prog

Review by poito

5 stars I've got to thank whoever brought STORM into the Archives. This is the band of my infancy. What a period, foreign music entered in my country smuggled by the few people that visited or travelled abroad. Storm was playing rock for some time before they managed to record. I still remember standing outside the bullfighting arena in Burgos, during one of the first rock festivals ever (satanic meetings for the regime officers), listening to the band from the outside. Storm was the most skillful and creative hard-rock band of the time, a heretical squad for the average people, totally stupefied by massive offer of cheap flamenco and scurfy pop in the media for musically illiterate youngsters, you know. What was that? Andalusians playing hard rock? Come on! And doing so well as to rival giants Deep Purple and the like! Unbelievable!. Genil's hammond did not envy Lord's, and Angel Ruiz mastered the guitar as a Hendrix/Blackmoore/devil hybrid clon, not a surprise for an Andalucian guitarist anyway who may teach a couple of guitar lessons to those worshipped monsters, born inside the body of a wooden guitar that he learnt to play before he got to walk. The band seemed to have a curse on them. But I'm not a believer, you know, and I like to think that their problems were more substantial than witches and planetary coincidences. The amazing quality of this band was dangerous for the regime, young people were beginning to ask, and to ignore grey men hiding behind big moustaches and black mob-style glasses, Among others, they were victims of the army. While other musicians with grey friends in the right place got some leaves from the military service, even skip it, these heretical rockers were not. By the time they were freed, the audience they had got touring in the northern region of the country, where rock music was appreciated -by the way, lads highly skeptical and unwilling toward Andalusians because of sociopolitical reasons, but they had to swallow and bow-, they had been nearly forgotten. I remember their re-appearance in a damned concert in a sport pavilion south Madrid, during an in-door festival for Andalusian prog bands (Triana, Medina Azahara, and one more I can't recall) in which they were to break, I had grown enough to be allowed in, lots of expectancy and excitation in the audience, waiting for two years to see them in stage again, a few tracks heating the audience and ... What? the power line went down... twice! What a disaster. It is today and I still believe someone did it on purpose. The drummer, and amazing Diego Ruiz, considered by many one of the best drummers ever in Spain, went down the stage and begun to play with the sticks anywhere, chairs, the floor, anything, for several minutes, trying to hold the people so they wouldn't leave for the bar, two magic drum improvisations that no one will ever forget in the middle of a wreck. When the power came back they were allowed to play only a couple of themes and kicked off. What a disaster. They never recovered from that. Simply, they vanished. The next album was a complete failure, I still can't believe they tried to adapt their music and failed, someone must have cheated on them. These were genuine hard-prog master musicians, cheated and mistreated. There is an URL for a life video somewhere in the review. Do a fav to yourself and learn some history while you dribble listening to THE STORM.

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 Lost in Time by STORM, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2013
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Lost in Time
The Storm Heavy Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Spanish band STORM, also known as Los Tormentos And The Storm in the earlier parts of their career, was a quartet that started out in the late '60s, releasing their initial debut album in 1974. They broke up following the release of that LP, but reformed a few years later with Pedro Garcia replacing original bassist Jose Torres for a second go with their sophomore production in 1979 before calling it quits again just over a year later. They have in later years been regarded as one of the finest hard rock bands from Spain in the years they were active, but their material has been hard to find for potential buyers. "Lost in Time" is a two-CD set featuring both the albums Storm released back in the '70s.

Storm is a band whose material indeed does merit a CD release. They were a talented band back in the day, and especially their debut album and its hard rock foundation with progressive rock details and occasional full-song excursions into this realm an interesting one also 40 years later. Their second album isn't by far as interesting, more of a time typical excursion into radio-friendly melodic rock in terms of general style, but still with occasional, albeit subdued, slight nods towards progressive rock. A band and a production that merits a check by those who find '70s hard rock, melodic rock and progressive rock to be of a fairly equal interest as far as musical taste is concerned.

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 Lost in Time by STORM, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2013
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Lost in Time
The Storm Heavy Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The best thing in being a reviewer (for a prog magazine in addition to PA) is to receive CD's of artists I would probably never come across myself. This Spanish group is such case. The Storm was founded in Sevilla 1969 as Los Tormentos. Their main influence was DEEP PURPLE. This double deluxe CD (1000 limited edition) includes both albums of their career.

"The Storm " (1974) is hard-riffing heavy rock sung in English. As with Deep Purple, the organ has a big role. I don't enjoy the vocal tracks, the rough singing is very pushed and pretentious as it tries to sound heavy. Some songs are just plain poor and clichéd. There are three instrumentals; with the exception of guitar-heavy 'Experiencia Sin Órgano', meaning Experience Without Organ, they are the highlights for me. All in all this 34-minute album is not spectacular. Hardly it has notable historic value either, unlike e.g. PAN & REGALIZ' sole album from a few years earlier. The production however is quite OK.

After disbanding in 1976 - because of the Army duties - they returned in 1978. Only the bassist had changed. Funnily the two preceding reviews of The Storm prefer the debut over the second album, El Dia de la Tormenta (1979). Well, I enjoy it much more! Firstly, it's good to hear them perform in their own language.

Now the heavy rock aspect is mostly put aside, even the almost-normalized singing is much better. Actually it makes me think of Swedish KAIPA's debut album: it's not quite as high, but the singing style is rather similar. Especially on the opening track, which is the hardest rocking, there still are some heavy rock mannered vocal harmonies and vibrato too. From the second track onwards ('La Luz de Tu Voz' means the light of your voice, I suppose) one hears a notable pop attitude in compositions and playing. A lot had happened in music during those five years, and it's interesting to hear how it shows in The Storm's music. Naturally we must remember that many brave European artists kept on doing fine progressive rock at the risk of being ignored, and unfortunately this album cannot be counted in that category. It simply is too commercial-sounding for that.

But still I like it. The music is not TOO poppy, and there certainly are some progressive elements. Synths come to the fore especially on the two-part instrumental 'Saeta Ensayo', which in its melodic airiness reminds me of some CAMEL stuff. Also the electric guitar gets some soloing, after which the various organ sounds get more playful. 'Lejos de la Civilización' is rather straight-forward simplistic pop song, but a nice one. 'Desde el Mar Y las Estrellas' is very enjoyable song with lots of emotion and elegant soloing for Moog and electric guitar. Really great melodies here! The title track approaches disco-like beat and features a bit outdated synth carpets.

I'm not totally sure if I'll keep this set on my shelves, but it certainly was a pleasure to come across. By the way, if both albums were put in one disc, it would have been only about 72 minutes long. I'm really difficult to charm with multi-folded covers if the illustration is nothing special.

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 El Dia de la Tormenta by STORM, THE album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.09 | 4 ratings

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El Dia de la Tormenta
The Storm Heavy Prog

Review by Gerinski
Prog Reviewer

2 stars After their very good 1974 debut which earned them the nick of "the Spanish Deep Purple", from late 1975 the band members had to leave for the then compulsory military service, losing some three years in the process. By the time they could all come together again, 1978, the music scene had changed radically and that heavy prog with Hammond, Blackmore-esque guitar and furious drumming was out of fashion.

With a new bassist Pedro Garcia replacing Jose Torres they attempted to adapt to the new times but there was a clear hesitation regarding the musical direction to take and the result was rather disappointing.

The Hammond is replaced by synths, the early 70's Deep Purple sound is totally gone and it's quite impossible to recognize that this is the same band that recorded that 1974 debut album. The lyrics are now in Spanish, and rather poor by the way.

The style is a rather inconsistent mix of mid 70's prog such as Pink Floyd, commercial pop rock, flamenco-rock (Triana had been very successful in the previous years) and the soft heavy rock made popular at the time by bands like Scorpions or Rainbow.

The opener Este Mundo is far from great but it's decent, you could think of a hard version of Pink Floyd.

La Luz De Tu Voz and Desde El Mar y Las Estrellas are decent ballads but nothing remarkable.

The instrumental Saeta Ensayo, split in two parts by the LP format with Part 1 on side A and Part 2 on side B was probably intended to be the link to prog, it explores some variations on the main keyboard melodic line but it's rather weak.

Lejos De La Civilizacion and El Dia De La Tormenta are simply dispensable pop songs.

This was the last album by a band who should have delivered much more, the talent was there but they fell prey of the weak economics in Spain at the time, the military service break of its members and the fall of prog in the second half of the 70's.

Keyboardist Luis Genil died in 2004 and while the band has reunited for some gigs it does not seem likely that they will be back with good prog music on studio.

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 The Storm by STORM, THE album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.03 | 11 ratings

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The Storm
The Storm Heavy Prog

Review by Gerinski
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Known as "the Spanish Deep Purple", The Storm (most Spanish people know them as just Storm) were formed in the Andalusian city of Sevilla in the late 60's by twin brothers Angel and Diego Ruiz (guitar and drums respectively and both sharing the duties as lead singers), their cousin Luis Genil (organ & backing vocals) and Jose Torres (bass & backing vocals). Their original name was Tormentos meaning Torments, but while doing gigs in Madrid the manager of the concert venue Barbarella suggested them to look for a more English-sounding name, and since the very similar Spanish word Tormenta means Storm the choice was made.

Storm became loved for their powerful live performances, they supported Queen in Barcelona in December 1974 and Freddie Mercury had only praises for them and was surprised that they did not have international exposure, he and Roger Taylor went personally to their dressing room to congratulate them and after having seen Diego's drum solo Roger did not dare playing his on that evening's show. Diego was indeed a great drummer and his solos were spectacular, he would leave the drumkit and continue soloing tapping with his feet and drumming on anything he could find with the drumsticks, and Angel's guitar solos were no less of a show, emulating Hendrix, Page & co playing his Strat with his teeth, a drumstick or a glass.

They played proggy hard rock much in the style of Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin or Atomic Rooster, with the interplays between guitar and Hammond and a very powerful drumming being their signature features.

In 1974 they finally released this debut album, recorded basically live at Madrid's Audiofilm studio in a record time of 4 and a half hours. Most lyrics are in English interspersed with a bit of Spanish but clearly the lyrics were not the focus point. The original vinyl is highly priced in the collectors world.

I've Gotta Tell Your Mama and It's All Right are just hardrockers, not bad but not too interesting from a prog perspective. Then we have some hard rocking songs but which add some juice by incorporating some time signature changes or interesting shifts, these include I'm Busy, Woman Mine and I Don't Know. Great songs.

And then we have the three great instrumental tracks which are the real meat for proggers: Un Señor Llamado Fernandez De Cordoba (dedicated to their eccentric manager Jose Luis Fernandez De Cordoba) and Crazy Machine are all about great interplays between guitar and Hammond (Crazy Machine including a 2 min drum solo), and the closer Experiencia Sin Organo (Organ-less Experience) which is pure guitar delight in a Zeppelinesque style.

Fans of the best Deep Purple will love this one. Unfortunately the compulsory military service prevented them from staying alive from 1975 to 1978, and by that time the music scene had changed a lot, they would release a 2nd and last album in 1979 but with a rather different style and little success.

You can watch a 30 min performance on a 1975 spanish TV show here, just add http:// in front of this tu.tv/videos/storm-concierto-en-directo-en-tve-1975

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