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Metalium - Grounded - Chapter Eight (CD)

Grounded - Chapter Eight
by Grigoris Chronis at 15 October 2009, 7:02 PM

What METALIUM represents - if asked by a guy not familiar to our music anymore, yet once being a loyal fan - needs no series of words: it's just what neat Heavy Metal sounds (or should sound) in Europe the last decade. The band's been active for ten years also, and their 8th attempt - as seen by the album title, too - will be loved by the ones being fans of the German quintet (Tolo Grimalt joins in as the second guitarist) while it will leave out of interest everyone not 'into' them all these years.
METALIUM stared as an all-star band, featuring renowned musicians such as Henning Basse (BRAINSTORM), Matthias Lange (SINNER), Chris Caffery (SAVATAGE, DOCTOR BUTCHER, solo), Lars Ratz (VIVA, ZED YAGO, VELVET VIPER) and Mike Terrana (a little bit less than 666 projects involved in…), while men like Jack Frost (SEVEN WITCHES, SAVATAGE, MARSHALL LAW) and Mark Cross (FIREWIND, HELLOWEEN, SPITFIRE, AT VANCE, OUTLOUD, SARACEN) also paraded from the band's ranks. After ten years and eight albums it's still 60% the same band and 90% the same style we're talking about.
Before throwing stones in defense of the natural development a band has to have in order to avoid the same old, same old just re-consider some of your favorite bands' fail tests away from their roots. Next: if the music itself has the balls - especially in the in-your-face field - who should request carrying out tests, really? So, produced by Lars ratz, Grounded - Chapter Eight sees another remarkable release from these German soldiers, based on the JUDAS PRIEST-meets-ACCEPT inheritance plus BRAINSTORM-meets-PRIMAL FEAR-meets-ZED YAGO-meets-SAVATAGE pattern the band has put a stamp on all these years.
Heavy Metal is a convincing mid-pace manifest (We are HEAVY METAL…if you don't like it…FUCK YOU), Light Of Day carries the same bang-your-wah-wah-head vibe, Pay The Fee rolls like thunder in the typical METALIUM mode, Pharos Slavery is one of the best crawling-tempo songs ZED YAGO never written and Crossroad Overload is an over-heavy thirsty banging blast with thrilling vocals.
'Side B' (will have a vinyl issue again, right?) opens up with the weird/lunatic fast paced Falling Into Darkness, Alone's intro reminded me a bit of MEGADETH but then some pounding drums and oriental/neoclassical leads blew America away (sic), Borrowed Time brought to mind a mix of EDGUY and current PRIMAL FEAR ballads but with the METALIUM stamp (refrains in a major scale are not usual for such bands…), Once Loyal is high-speed yet melodic in its own German Metal way and Lonely brings on the aura of METALIUM as you've known them (or not) all these years; something like an 'audio CV'.
Not much to be said on the musicians' skills, of course - the same goes for the production, which is bombastic and fresh yet applicable for traditional metallers too. Maybe we're talking for one of the most cut-down releases from this Hamburg-based band. Anyway, with METALIUM things are quite simple: you have the previous albums? You'll buy this one. You don't? You won't.

P.S.: There's less double-bass drumming in this album, in case someone would like to know…Also, Grounded - Chapter Eight is the first METALIUM album without any shouted choirs; all voices are only done by frontman Henning Basse.

3 Star Rating

Heavy Metal
Light Of Day
Pay The Fee
Pharos Slavery
Crossroad Overload
Falling Into Darkness
Borrowed Time
Once Loyal
Henning Basse - Vocals
Matthias Lange - Guitars
Tolo Grimalt - Guitars
Lars Ratz - Bass
Michael Ehre - Drums
Record Label: Massacre Records


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