The news that Alestorm’s Christopher Bowes had launched a power metal band got my interest straight away. The thought of Alestorm’s humour being applied to power metal sounded like a perfect match – after all, a lot of power metal lyrics are cheesy and over the top. With Gloryhammer, Christopher Bowes has matched some superb power metal music with a fantastic singer (I can’t believe he isnt already a star with that voice), and some of the most over the top cheesy songs power metal has ever seen – songs of Dragons, Unicorns, prophecies, battles and more.
The album is a concept album set in a fantasy version of Scotland and tells the tale of the hero, Angus McFife. There’s a Unicorn invasion of Dundee, a Magic Dragon, a prophecy and pretty much every power metal fantasy lyric stereotype you can imagine. It’s something that could have been a total flop if it wasn’t done right, but has come out incredibly well – this is an album that power metal fans everywhere will love (unless they’re the type who take things far too seriously). Some of the best power metal has a bit of humour included, and this definitely counts as some of the best power metal around at the moment.
In Thomas Winkler, Chris Bowes has found a superbly talented vocalist who I’m sure is going to become a lot more well known following the release of this album.
The music too is superb – the introduction to the album – “Anstruther’s dark prophecy” sounds like it should be part of a film score and really sets the mood nicely for the start of the album proper. The power metal songs are crafted perfectly with plenty of drums and guitar, and a pace that varies from slow and dark to fast and furious.
This album is one that is almost certainly going to be one of the top power metal albums of the year – I really can’t see much coming along that can beat this. A supber album.
1. Anstruther’s Dark Prophecy
2. The Unicorn Invasion Of Dundee
3. Angus McFife
4. Quest For The Hammer Of Glory
5. Magic Dragon
6. Silent Tears Of Frozen Princess
7. Amulet Of Justice
8. Hail To Crail
9. Beneath Cowdenbeath
10. The Epic Rage Of Furious Thunder
James Cartwright – Bass
Ben Turk – Drums
Paul Templing – Guitars
Christopher Bowes – Keyboards
Thomas Winkler – Vocals