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Gloryhammer - Space 1992: Rise Of The Chaos Wizards

Gloryhammer
Space 1992: Rise Of The Chaos Wizards
by MarcusTheRocker at 01 November 2015, 5:31 PM

Space, the final frontier. A term you hear so often in TV shows set in space and also lots of documentaries and features on the infinite cluster of stars in the sky that is space. Space is so popular in lots of things these days including TV shows, cartoons, video games and even music as well with some bands using the concept of space and time as the themes for both the lyrics and the music. On the other hand, what if you were to take five Scottish musicians, put them together in a band and named their genre as inter-galactic Space Metal? The result of that would be GLORYHAMMER who are the subject of this review as is their new album so let us dive into uncharted territory and venture up into the stars and by that of course I mean let us head straight into this review.

Formed in 2010 in Dundee in Scotland, GLORYHAMMER are a quintet of inter-galactic rockers who use a combination of fantasy and space themes in their music and the first time we heard this was with their debut CD “Tales From The Kingdom of Fife” released in 2013. Two years later and the band are ready to release the second chapter in their story with the album “Space 1992: Rise Of The Chaos Wizards” which is now available to hear so without further ado, it’s time for me to give this one a listen and see what I think about this unique mixture of fantasy and space elements used in the music.

Clocking in at around 52 minutes, the album opens up with a prelude/introductory piece called “Infernus Ad Astra” which seems to serve as an opening narrative to the tale of this album and the use of vocal dialogue combined with some neat movie style orchestral elements adds a sense of uniqueness and excitement to this album which is just as well as the following track “Rise Of The Chaos Wizards” kicks things into full gear with heavy guitars, fast drumbeats, chanting choirs, symphonic keys and a punchy vocal performance which all come together to begin the first chapter of this tale musically.

The next song “Legend Of The Astral Hammer” takes a mixture of fantasy elements from Scottish history and tells it as a story using Power Metal and it sounds symphonic and heavy with punchy melodies that surprise you in more ways then one but that’s always a good thing if the end result is good which this is. “Goblin King Of The Darkstorm Galaxy” is punchy and symphonic with lots of heavy melodies that are guaranteed to kick you in the balls and send chills down your spine. “The Hollywood Hootsman” is heavy and hard with elements that seem to take their cues from a combination of Hard Rock in the guitar riffs and Heavy Metal with everything else including the drumbeats and the symphonic elements which all come together to create a punchy and heavy Symphonic Rock/Metal piece.

The halfway point track “Victorious Eagle Warfare” sounds your traditional Power Metal track with its heavy guitar riffs, symphonic keyboards, pounding drum beats and punchy vocals but it does still sound good as it sounds different and unique setting it aside from all of the other countless Power Metal tunes I have heard. “Questlords Of Inverness, Ride to the Galactic Fortress!” is a punchy Symphonic Metal style track with heavily orchestrated keyboard melodies and pounding drumbeats combined with the punchy vocals and heavy guitar riffs that all help to create a pretty enjoyable track. “Universe On Fire” is a hard one to explain as it sounds different to the other songs on this album in terms of the melodies and arrangements used to the point where you’d think it doesn’t sound like a Metal song at all but I think if you listen to it more, you’d find something to say about it but make sure to still enjoy it while you do as it does have an enjoyable charm to it. “Heroes (Of Dundee)” is the second to last vocal track on this album and it starts off with some amazing sounding movie style orchestral elements before some pretty sweet Metal melodies kick in to accompany the other instruments which then kick themselves into full gear with some epic sounding arrangements that create a pretty amazing sounding tune.

“Apocalypse 1992” is the last vocal track and the second to last song on this album and you could say it’s the albums epic as the first two and a half minutes kick off with a combination of heavy symphonic orchestral metal elements with some haunting vocal dialogue before the main song kicks in for the remaining seven or so minutes of the song and it delivers in style with some pretty sweet punchy melodies that help to tell the last tale of this albums story.

The albums eleventh and final song is an instrumental called “Dundax Artena” and it’s just mostly keyboards with a vocal choir in the background to accompany it with no Metal instruments or melodies playing along with it. I was kind of expecting a little bit more that would match the opening prelude/introduction track or maybe a Symphonic Metal band jam instead of this but I guess I can’t nitpick too much.

So what are my overall thoughts on this album as a whole? It was certainly one of the most unique albums I’ve heard in recent times as the use of both fantasy and space-elements combined with symphonic and Power Metal melodies/arrangements have created some pretty surprising yet enjoyable songs. Only gripes I have with it is that at times the lyrics can be hard to make out in places and the vocal performance can occasionally be hit and miss depending on the song but thankfully there’s plenty of punch and epic-ness in the melodies and the performance to make up for it so it’s not too bad.

Bottom line, the second album from GLORYHAMMER is definitely one of the most unique albums I have heard in recent times I will give it praise for it’s uniqueness and it’s creativity as there are some really enjoyable songs on this but I will knock off a point or two for the hit and miss vocals and the somewhat disappointing final instrumental track but the overall score I think is still fair. If you liked the first GLORYHAMMER album or are looking for something creative and unique then you’ll like this album as it’s definitely one worth checking out.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Infernus Ad Astra
2. Rise of the Chaos Wizards
3. Legend of the Astral Hammer
4. Goblin King Of The Darkstorm Galaxy
5. The Hollywood Hootsman
6. Victorious Eagle Warfare
7. Questlords of Inverness, Ride to the Galactic Fortress!
8. Universe On Fire
9. Heroes (Of Dundee)
10. Apocalypse 1992
11. Dundax Aeterna
Lineup:
Thomas Winkler - Vocals
Paul Templing - Guitar
James Cartwright - Bass
Christopher Bowes - Keyboards
Ben Turk - Drums
Record Label: Napalm Records
     


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Edited 24 September 2021
 

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