Gloryhammer - Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife review
|Album:||Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife|
|Release date:||March 2013|
01. Anstruther's Dark Prophecy
02. The Unicorn Invasion Of Dundee
03. Angus McFife
04. Quest For The Hammer Of Glory
05. Magic Dragon
06. Silent Tears Of Frozen Princess
07. Amulet Of Justice
08. Hail To Crail
09. Beneath Cowdenbeath
10. The Epic Rage Of Furious Thunder
11. Wizards! [limited edition bonus]
12. Quest For The Hammer Of Glory [Alternative version] [Japanese bonus]
13. The Epic Rage Of Furious Thunder [Alternative version] [Japanese bonus]
This is shockingly good. But, dude, look at the song titles! They're reminiscent of Nanowar and I wasn't initially sure if I was supposed to take this album seriously. If you're unsure as well, fear not: turns out this is completely awesome and fans of symphonic power metal may proceed with taking it seriously.
The epic symphonic intro track, well, it did its job. How often do we hear these great faux orchestra intros and expect great faux orchestra-laden power metal to follow but instead are let down? Often. But not today! This is gloriously cheesy power metal that is as highly symphonic as bands like Fairyland. Splendid.
So, who is that masked man behind the keyboard, anyway? Turns out it's Christopher Bowes from Alestorm! In person. Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of Alestorm specifically but personal tastes aside, that band clearly has the ability to make some fun music and Mr. Bowes must be a huge reason for it. Despite the epic cheesiness of Gloryhammer, it has a welcome "serious" quality to it that balances out all the fun. This may be due in part to the lyrics.
Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife tells the story of Scotland during mythical times past, "when the great hero Angus McFife waged an epic war against the evil wizard Zargothrax, to free the people of Dundee in the name of glory and steel." Zargothrax? Glory and steel? I know… I know. Well, I did warn you it was cheesy but sometimes that is a good thing. We all need our guilty pleasures and when guilty pleasures come wrapped in amazing music, all the better!
The mix here is excellent, allowing all instruments to come together in a swift tornado of epic power metal. The keyboards are of course well done but they don't overpower; the guitars have some great leads as well and the vocals are balanced just right so as not to drown out everyone else. It's a well-composed ride that manages to get even better with every listen.
And this is one of those rare instances where we have some GREAT vocals. Finally, a male power metal singer who does not try to reach notes that are too high for him or prove to everyone that he had his balls removed. Vocalist Thomas Laszlo Winkler has great high and low notes but mostly he just sings notes that fit well in his voice. Now, wasn't that easy? Other male power metal singers: please take note.
Oh, did I mention this is a debut? Clearly we have some talented and experienced musicians on this record because it's professional as hell, full of solid performances, and the songwriting really exemplifies the best of cheesy symphonic power metal. If this high energy record is any indication, we can expect great things from the future of Gloryhammer.
Written on 26.05.2013 by
Susan appreciates quality metal regardless of sub-genre. Metal Storm Staff since 2006.
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