Rating:
8.6
Gloryhammer - Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife
29 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.


Band profile: Gloryhammer
Album: Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife


 



Written on 26.05.2013 by
Susan
Susan appreciates quality metal regardless of genre. Metal Storm Staff since 2006.
More reviews by Susan ››



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Super_Greg - 26.05.2013 at 02:10  
This is what I thought exactly! Super over the top cheesy, but its pretty damn good!
psykometal - 26.05.2013 at 02:18  
Great review, Susan. Couldn't agree more, I love this album. I was initially hesitant to check it out because they consider themselves a parody band, but decided to anyway cuz of Christopher Bowes (appears you had the same reservation/curiosity ) and I was pleasantly surprised.
Doomus - 26.05.2013 at 02:34  
Well, I don't mind cheesy if it's this awesome!
Tristus Scriptor - 26.05.2013 at 08:40  
The Dream Evil of near-"flower" metal? (I mean...it's a bit less gay than that...but there ARE unicorns...) Anyway...this band is the best thing since flavored lube. >.<
FeskarN - 26.05.2013 at 12:31  
Great review! The album is chessy as hell but the music is well performed.
Zaphod - 26.05.2013 at 12:59  
Definitely like the vocals, since they don't ever reach annoying levels. Not sure about the music yet, but I will check it out further. I've found that I can perfectly enjoy cheesy europower if the vocals are good and the music has some speed and is mostly guitar-driven.

Oh and "The Unicorn Invasion Of Dundee"? ...
R'Vannith - 26.05.2013 at 13:27  
This album is too much of a guilty pleasure to pass up. Great review too.
Kingface - 26.05.2013 at 13:30  
Great review and I very much agree with it! Of course the album isn't to be taken too seriously, but at the same time, they aren't just a cheap parody band. A hell of a lot of effort has gone into the production, the sound, the imagery and the songs and the result is something fun but worthy of notice and of high quality.

I can imagine they'd put on an immensely fun live show!
R Lewis - 26.05.2013 at 13:51  
These are exactly my thoughts. I actually love this.
Dark†SymphonY - 26.05.2013 at 19:18  
I could do with a good cheesy sympho-power band. The review is great, definitely makes me want to give a listen.
Sorrowbringa - 27.05.2013 at 12:35  
Angus McFife is my new hero !
sinister - 28.05.2013 at 15:33  
Great review. I agree. Great album.
Void Eater - 25.06.2013 at 07:02  
OK I'm a month late but this is seriously perfect in how lame it is. Its the most cliche power mehtul album ever which actually makes it kind of unique. As an unashamed Rhapsody fan, I approve.
psykometal - 25.06.2013 at 10:00  
Written by Void Eater on 25.06.2013 at 07:02

OK I'm a month late

Better late than never.
bloodwrage - 02.02.2014 at 04:39  
This is dangerously cheesy.
NickTheKnighted - 16.03.2014 at 19:21  
I love this!
deadone - 17.03.2014 at 01:53  
I see the phrases like "symphonic power metal," " great faux orchestra-laden power metal ","epic cheesiness" and I instantly press the eject button....

Thanks for advising me to avoid this album.

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