Published on April 30th, 2018 | by Justin G.
Substratum: Stratosphere (Divebomb)
Seattle-based traditional heavy metal band Substratum is having a busy 2018. Not only did they deliver their second full-length album (Permission To Rock), but they released a new EP as well. The EP is titled Stratosphere, and while the cover art might suggest sci-fi-themed power metal along the lines of Helion Prime, this is straight-up old school heavy metal.
Stratosphere features five new Substratum songs and a cover of the Satanic Rites song “Cast My Spell.” Covering that band isn’t Substratum’s only nod to the NWOBHM. Their whole sound is heavily influenced by that era. Think Savage or Dragster but with a tough, gruff female vocalist. Amy Lee Carlson has plenty of power as well, which helps put these songs over. The standouts here, other than that Satanic Rites cover, are the more melodic “To Tame the Burning Blade” and the hard-charging “Cast My Spell,” but there aren’t any duds here.
This EP is a fun addition to the Substratum discography, and is well worth hearing if you grabbed Permission to Rock or liked the band’s material on last year’s Masters of Metal compilation. If you’re new to the band but dig bands like Savage, early Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Chastain and Leather, Stratosphere is an affordable introduction to this up and coming metal band.
Summary: Short, solid collection of old school metal