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Victorius - Space Ninjas From Hell

Victorius
Space Ninjas From Hell
by Rachel Montgomery at 05 March 2020, 8:28 AM

VICTORIUS are a German Power Metal band known for silly concepts. While their initial albums were more traditional Power Metal, since releasing their EP “Dinosaur Warfare: Legend Of The Power Saurus”, they’ve taken to exploring video games and childhood nostalgia and fantasy with their music and lyrics. Hot off the heels of that last EP, “Space Ninjas from Hell” is a concept album based off kung-fu movies, video games, and children’s action shows like “Power Rangers”.

The opening track begins like a DRAGONFORCE song. Highly electronic, piping riffs blast directly into your ears from the first note. The vocals have an interesting, memorable call and response structure with a high tenor and an epic choir. Later in the song, the chorus comes back for some epic harmonies peppered into later parts of the verse. It does a good job at setting up our expectations for the rest of the album.

To fit the concept of the album, the tracks all contain a more electronic sound. Some of them are more orchestral, like “Ninjas Unite”. They also may contain Eastern elements, fitting with the overall Asian martial arts theme. “Nippon Knights” is a good example. The song begins with a video game-like call to action and then incorporates Asian instruments in the introduction. The song also peppers the percussion with gongs, keeping the “Mortal Kombat” style overtone to the song. “Evil Wizard Wushu Master” and “Shuriken Showdown” have similar overtones to “Wishmaster” by NIGHTWISH, including the choral elements that cut through the symphony and the thrash elements. I was particularly impressed by the sweeps in the guitar solo of “Shuriken Showdown”. The way the composition takes off on its own is powerful and epic.

A criticism I have is that on some parts of the album, the songs can run into one another, sounding so similar that I can hardly distinguish them. For example, “Wrath Of The Dragongod” begins with a unique drum roll, but then settles back into a standard track on the album: video game-like symphonies in a fast-paced thrashing song. While the songs are great at initial set-dressing, using ambiance to set the scene for the song, they all lull into the same-old format.

A standout song on this album is “Astral Assassin Shark Attack” not only for the name, but for the complex, high-speed sweeps in the intro. This song pulls a lot of symphonic stops, employing strings to propel the song to epic, uplifting heights. Of the songs on this album, this one has the most celestial flavor with higher-pitched instrumentals and on-point rhythmic guitars. The album ends with “Shinobi Strike” - an electronic song with a robotic narrative. While it’s a stylized narrative track, I wish it were the opening. It sets up the album impeccably and would have given a lot of context to the rest of the songs on the album. I love the casual tone, as if a video game and anime obsessed teenager wrote it and this is a fever dream from someone’s imagination.

Overall, the album is a fist-pumping ride through samurai and martial arts themes, relating them more to Mortal Kombat and kung-fu movies. Again, I think it would have been way more powerful if the last track was first, and even if they peppered the album with more interludes and narrative. As is, it’s a solid album, but can become monotonous at parts. Also, it would have been much more solid and engaging with that one change of planning the final track first.

Songwriting: 8
Production: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Tale Of The Sunbladers
2. Ninjas Unite
3. Super Sonic Samurai
4. Evil Wizard Wushu Master
5. Nippon Knights
6. Shuriken Showdown
7. Wasabi Warmachine
8. Wrath of the Dragongod
9. Astral Assassin Shark Attack
10. Space Ninjas From Hell
11. Cosmic Space Commando Base
12. Shinobi Strike 3000
Lineup:
David - Vocals
Dirk – Guitars
Flo - Guitars
Andreas - Bass
Frank - Drums
Record Label: Napalm Records
     


Rating

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Edited 28 November 2022
 

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