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Gloryhammer: Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards

Somebody to do with either Gloryhammer or Napalm Records has a quality sense of humour hence the header from the press release for this hugely enjoyable album, Gloryhammer's follow-up to the quite frankly insane Tales From the Kingdom of Fife.

"It`s probably just a question of time until the universe taps into the force that is Gloryhammer they should at least consider having their soundtracks composed by the international power metal act lead by Alestorm keyboardist / singer Christopher Bowes! Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards is the next chapter of the epic Gloryhammer saga! It rewrites history and future alike and raises the Astral Hammer to smash the evil Chaos Wizards: this extravagant background is perfect material for galloping, highly melodic power metal that merges galactic fire with unforgettable metal anthems!"

I may take issues with , 'unforgettable,' but then again at my advanced years like Nigel Tufnell I get confused easily but tremendous Rhapsody (of Fire)-like songs such as "Legend Of The Astral Hammer" and the wondrous "Goblin King Of The Darkstorm Galaxy" are delivered with total commitment and sense of joy that it is difficult not to be swept along for the ride. Let's have a gander at the chorus of the Goblin-related tune shall we? Go on then.

"Goblin King of the Darkstorm Galaxy
Ride on the wings of doom
Grant me the power to fight my foes
And defeat the lords of the Moon"

This is a very clear indicator of what to expect and I am fully aware that there are plenty of people out there who can't get down with the sometimes (?) cheesy nature of the whole power metal thing but I love the whole escapist nature of both the genre and Gloryhammer. On the minus side I can categorically confirm that I will never listen to the somewhat pointless final track "Apocalypse 1992" but other than that, this is a real winner.

Track Listing:
01. Infernus Ad Astra
02. Rise Of The Chaos Wizards
03. Legend Of The Astral Hammer
04. Goblin King Of The Darkstorm Galaxy
05. The Hollywood Hootsman
06. Victorious Eagle Warfare
07. Questlords Of Inverness, Ride To The Galactic Fortress!
08. Universe On Fire
09. Heroes (Of Dundee)
10. Apocalypse 1992

Added: November 28th 2015
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1927
Language: english

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Gloryhammer: Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2015-11-28 10:54:06
My Score:

There's a fine line between ridiculous and utterly ridiculous. And yet it's a hair line crack found again and again by Alestorm mainman Christopher Bowes, his pirate metal outfit a romp and "a-har" band who know exactly when they're being silly, rather than plain daft. Trying to repeat the trick is dangerous and yet the power metal by dayglo numbers of Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife from Bowes' second band, Gloryhammer, was one the metal highlights of 2013. Hence the pleasingly silly sounding Space 1992 The Rise Of The Chaos Wizards is reason to rattle sabres (or laser weapons), straddle your horse (or space cruiser) and charge into battle once more. Angus McFife (our first album hero) would again appear to be frolicking about crazily, so let's join him.

For some all the daftness will be too much and yet, take out the OTT themes and lyrics and you're left with a glorious, if blatant, careening of riffs, keyboard crescendos and faux symphonic streams which flow forth at will. Grandiose, bombastic, tongue in cheek and bloody good are all words to describe what's going on here as you chant "Legend Of The Astral Hammer", bang your head to "Questlords Of Inverness, Ride To The Galactic Fortress!", celebrate the "Heroes (Of Dundee)" or shake your head that any band would call a song "The Hollywood Hootsman"! Now I have to admit that being born and bred in Scotland, I actually live slap bang in the middle of where these fictitious albums play out and hence hearing tales of Dundee, Aberdeen or Fife regaled in such triumphant fashion possibly holds a resonance for me that those from a little further afield won't quite be able to match. However that won't stop lovers of shiny, in your face metal of the various varieties of power from immersing themselves fully in a rich, juggernaut of an album that yes, veers on the edge of toppling into nonsense, but which time and again rights itself just as you fear it can't.

Swiss vocalist Thomas Winkler, as he did on the debut, turns in a superb performance, handling the far from serious pompousness of the lyrics in amazingly convincing style, while bringing a powerful theatric quality this music would die without. The keys from Bowes are, unsurprisingly high in the mix (the intro to "Victorious Eagle Warfare" is sublime), however plenty room is left for six string wielding Paul Templing to provide a mix of Euro power metal riffology and NWOBHM up and at 'em guitars, that captivate throughout. Allowing this album to have a variety of shiny weapons with which to clobber you mercilessly about the napper with.

I've absolutely no doubt that there will be many who take their power metal a mite too seriously to see Gloryhammer as anything other than an annoying distraction and yet, if you are prepared to put silly story lines and daft costumes aside, then this band will prove a match for anyone. Sit astride your trusty steed, thrust your (glory)hammer in the air and proclaim, "For the glory of Dundee!". Go on, you'll feel much better for it. I know I did!

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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