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Gladius – Age of Barbarism

Age of Barbarism
by Lauryn Plummer at 29 November 2014, 5:19 PM

Originating from Portland, USA in 2012, four guys have come together to put their first full length album out. Entitled “Age of Barbarism” the 11 track collection is a wave of Speed and Thrash Metal. Influenced by bands such as IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PREIST which is evidently clear through the entire album, as vocalist Nick Courtney reaches notes that you can hear on JUDAS PRIEST albums. As any good album should have, the guys have arranged an introduction. “Demon’s Requiem” is a quiet start, there are no vocals, it’s just an acoustic guitar by itself. I must admit for a Metal band you wouldn’t expect it, but as soon as it kicks into “Crimson Eradicator” it’s a totally different ball game.

This is where you get the metal feel from the band, compared to the intro, which is understandable because it’s an intro, you as soon as the track switches over you hear the difference, and you really hear what they are about. They have songs like “Subservent”, “Carnal Entice”, “Balkanized”, “Hymn to Ninkazi” and “Our Baleful Realm” that are song start straight off, there are no build ups into it, the start off strongly and carry on straight through to the end.

But for me there are songs that stand out from the rest. They are the longer songs on the album, and because they are longer, they have more to put into the songs so you don’t get bored listening to them, and as a band they do this so well. “Enemies of the Cross” is a prime example of this stand out songs, although as soon as you hear it there is a full blown wave of instruments with a riff that comes underneath the vocals throughout the song. A minute into it you hear the first solo, which is interesting in itself it just fits with the song. In the middle it starts to fade out so you think that it’s over, it gets much slower compared to the rest of the song. Another solo is introduced 3 minutes further into the song, to be honest the song is just full of talent.

A song that really differs from all the others on the album is “Age of Barbarism” conveniently also the name of the album too. There’s a build up to the song before everything kicks in. This song reminds me of a battle anthem get about 2 minutes into the song and wonder where the vocals are, then all of sudden the instruments fade and once again you think that the song is over, but then the instruments are back and the dynamic of the song totally changes, it’s more dreary and slower yet more melodic than it was before. Here there is a full ear melting solo that really just shows the talent that these guys have. Its strange to think that 4 guys can make such an impressive album like this.

Finally to close the album is “Serenity of Desolation (Outro)” the transition from the previous track to this one is smooth, and runs from one to the other. Just like the intro it is just acoustic guitars but there are also rain and thunder sound effects, it matches the acoustic guitar perfectly and such a well thought out way to close the album.

4 Star Rating

1. Demon’s Requiem (Intro)
2. Crimson Eradicator
3. Subservent
4. Enemies of the Cross
5. Carnal Entice
6. Balkanized
7. Hymn to Ninkazi
8. Our Baleful Realm
9. Architect of Destruction
10. Age of Barbarism
11. Serenity of Desolation (Outro)
Nick Courtney – Vocals
Alex Miletich – Guitar
Alex Huddleston – Bass
Tyler Becker – Drums
Record Label: Stormspell Records


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