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Gallows End: Nemesis Divine

With all the different flavors of heavy metal that's out there these days, such as black metal, power metal, progressive metal, death metal, metalcore, doom metal, gothic metal, etc., you have to wonder what ever happened to tried and true classic sounding heavy metal? You know, like it used to be played in the old days before every sort of influence came into play and created more sub-genres that anyone could ever hope to keep track of. Well, thankfully bands such as Sweden's Gallows End haven't forgotten the greats like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Cirith Ungol, Armored Saint, Grim Reaper, Metallica, King Diamond, and Iced Earth. Their debut album Nemesis Divine certainly won't set the world on fire as far as originality goes, but it's a great homage to the classic sounds that we just don't get to hear enough of these days.

Right off the bat, you'll notice how HUGE the guitar sound is. I mean, the team of Peter Samuelsson & Thord Klarstrom have so much CRUNCH coming out of their guitars, it instantly takes songs like "Kingdom of the Damned" and "Soul Collector" and elevates them to anthem status. Klarstrom is also the lead vocalist of the band, and while he doesn't have a great voice, his high pitched shriek certainly fits the music just fine, sounding somewhat like a young Kai Hansen from his Helloween days. Plenty of tasty harmony guitar lines to be found throughout the CD, like on "The Curse" and "Not Your Own", and the galloping quality of "Different Eyes" and "Set the World In Flames" might just remind you of early Iron Maiden or Helloween. For unbridled fury, check out the driving "The Unborn Flag", and the band proves they can also do the epic thing on the near 11-minute grand & majestic "Riders of the North". The latter features no shortage of commanding riffs, wild lead guitar, and rollicking rhythms, a pure 'epic' to close out the CD.

Add in the excellent artwork of J.P. Fournier (who has worked with Dragonfoce, Immortal, Powerquest, and many others) and you have a very solid and promising release from a band that should have a bright future ahead of them. True metal lives!!

Track Listing
01. Nemesis Divine (Trial of the Gods)
02. Soul Collector
03. Kingdom of the Damned
04. No Return
05. The Curse
06. Set the World in Flames
07. Not Your Own
08. Different Eyes
09. The End
10. The Unborn Flag
11. Storm of Fate
12. Riders of the North

Added: July 14th 2010
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band MySpace Page
Hits: 1949
Language: english

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Gallows End: Nemesis Divine
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2015-12-26 11:22:44
My Score:

In your face Heavy Metal! That is exactly where Sweden's Gallows End are coming from. There are few pretentions on this album as the energy and vibe from the likes of Iced Earth, Armored Saint or Iron Maiden is encapsulated on "Nemesis Divine", which is this four piece's debut offering.

The twin guitar attack of Thord Klarstrom and Peter Samuelsson is a brutal pleasure and hearing them rip their way through song after song is a like a joyous trip back a couple of decades. However while the vibe and attitude come from days gone by, this album sounds fresh and vibrant in a way that many pretentious pretenders will never manage to be. Just listening to the thunderous chug-along that is "Soul Collector" or the swooping Maidenesque riff of "The Curse" guarantees that a huge smile will appear across your face, with the boundless vitality of bassist Niklas Nord and drummer Mikael Karlsson shining through the tremendous six string attack. Klarstrom also handles the vocals on the album and while he is no match for the likes of Dickinson or Halford, his impassioned screams and howls are perfectly suited to the storm that Gallows End brew up.

Other highlights of the album are the wonderful quick burst of Saxon like rifferama that makes up "Different Eyes" and the galloping ride and twin lead solos of "The Unborn Flag". However the epic ten minute closer "Riders Of The North" really sums this album up perfectly. A slow atmospheric beginning lifts into a rallying cry of what sounds like hordes of barbarians gathering for battle. Before the slow deliberate stomp that carries the song forward builds into another fine guitar solo. A start stop riff and drum rattle bring us firmly into Maiden's roaming almost progressive territory, before a short spoken word section once more calls us to fight for the cause. The song then rampages towards its conclusion via more tasty guitar work, a thundering bass line and some wonderful flurries behind the kit.

This is good honest heavy metal played by a band that obviously live for this music and while there are plenty of outfits producing a more sophisticated brand of rock, it is impossible not to be seduced by the rough and ready, yet skilful charms of Gallows End.

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