Tag Archives: Power Metal

Friday Morning Metal – HammerFall – The End Justifies

New HammerFall! Ahead of an album release in August! These delightful Swedes keep cranking out great songs, apparently since 1993. The video is like a studio session turned epic, and though it lacks the Swedish women’s curling team, it’s something for the ages.

The song kicks off with a solid drum solo. Kinda Painkillerly, plenty fast, plenty kicky. Joacim Cans can still belt out huge vocals which rules. You could even say Joacim Cans sing real well. I dig the dueling guitar solos before the breakdown, very noodly, very shreddy. You knew there’d be a solo by any means necessary, and they crushed it.

Them shouting “THE END” after the breakdown tricked me into thinking the song was over. But boom a kickass coda and chorus for a bit! Really set my hearts on fire there.

Friday Morning Metal – Eregion – The Rival Kings

LOOK AT THAT ALBUM COVER! This week we’re grabbing some metal from Turin, Italy. Or Piedmont. I’ll stick with Turin. Then they have this band and a shroud. According to Metal dot IT, “Eregion were born in the spring of 2012 from an idea by Giorgio Colbacchini (rhythm guitars) whose intent was to create a metal cover band.”

I’m not sure if The Rival Kings is a cover, whenever I search I find a band called the Rival Kings who have a song called “Dirt Road Romeo” which does not sound metal at all. However, this song is a great chuggy battle song.

Overall the song’s a solid power metally track. The solo at the halfway point is properly noodly but not getting tooo out there. And transitions into some very growly vocals for a bit there.

The album is called Non Omnis Moriar, which translates to “Not Everything Dies.” Maybe they’re referencing the vampires who don’t die in that Powerwolf song, Vampires Don’t Die. Whoah oh oh oh. And it has an opening track that starts in Latin, so you know they’re going to be big and bombastic.

I wonder if the band name is pronounced “E-region” or “ere-egg-ion.” Pretty sure there was a social platform in the early 2000’s called the E-region, as a competitor to Habbo Hotel. Anyway, these guys are a pretty fun listen, so give it a shot!

Oh and hey here’s a twofer. They have a real-ass music video for Kingdom of Heaven. I think they’re using Elden Ring as a green screen backdrop. And they’re singing about the templars. Who may or may not have left treasure on Oak Island.

Friday Morning Metal – Powerwolf – 1589

In 1589, said a murderer was lupine! Yet another big old video from our friendly werewolves of Armenia, Powerwolf. I don’t think they really are, but they sang they were so now it’s true.

This song is big and badass and would rule to hear live. There’s driving drums throughout, and the vocals ride above everything. Can’t forget a good guitar solo in there, plus RAD FLAMING PIANO YOU GUYS.

Poor werewolf man in the vidya gets his ass, and probably country music award, lit on fire for being a lupine murderer who may have eaten a baby? Maybe he just wanted some real babyback ribs, or was reading Jonathan Swift and took it too seriously. Also it was a little jarring to have all the cast look period appropriately dirty and dingy, while the (immortal?) dudes in Powerwolf look so clean and crisp. At least muss up your very coiffed hair, rad singer guy!

I wonder if in the live shows they light a piano on fire, because that would be rad as hell. Murder City Devils used to light their organ on fire (like Hammond organ, not… uh… organ) so it seems feasible.

The bombast and piano reminds me of Meatloaf for some reason. And now I want Powerwolf to cover Bat out of Hell. Maybe they could duet Paradise by the Dashboard Light with Unleash the Archers singer. That’d rule. Or that song about doing anything for love, but not that.

Friday Morning Metal – Thornbridge – Daydream Illusion

Oooh German Power Metal from a band what looks like Steampunk carnival operators! Angry Metal Guy did a review on Thornbridge’s upcoming album Daydream Illusion and so now you can listen to this pretty fun song.

The song is chock full of vocal harmonies, driving drums, and chugga guitars. I dig that it sounds like either lead or rhythm is playing clean guitars over the chugga of the other guitarist. The chanty breakdown before the coda is pretty great. Makes me want to march into battle with my carnival brethren.

It’s a little on the nose to have a song where they sing about a carousel in front of a carousel, but it also adds some interesting lighting contrast. Coming in just shy of four minutes, the song doesn’t waste your time, which I appreciate. Seven minutes songs can be fun, but sometimes it’s just a bit much.

Friday Morning Metal – Firewind – Fallen Angel

Greek power metal! Cool synth? Perhaps some sort of demon stripper? Behold, Fallen Angel from the band Firewind!

The song starts off with just the guitar riff, but sounds like it’s piped through a radio or something, before the drummer kicks in and everything turns rollicking and power metally.

The vocals are pretty fun, growly but still singing notes & whatnot. Herbie Langhans can really belt it out. They go all-in on the closeups during the guitar solo, so you can see all the sweeps picks and advanced fast hand finger wizardry. It’s solid, noodly as hell.

So enjoy some demon stripper dancer while you get a shred fest!

Falconer – Black Moon Rising

Black_Moon_Rising_(Falconer_album)_coverartBack when Chapters Through a Vale Forlorn came out, my buddy Pat left the album on loop in his car. For probably six months. Hearing the Lament of a Minstrel in the Decadence of Dignity was just great during our epic quests to get Taco Bell. Falconer is one of those bands that feels like the embodiment of power metal. Fast drums, big guitar work, and an incredibly talented signer, all squished together into epic tales of times long passed.

Unfortunately, for me, there were a couple albums in the mid to late 2000’s that seemed to have a stronger political slant, and it kind of turned me off from Falconer for a while. There were also a couple albums with a different singer, and that just felt like blasphemy. But now that I’ve heard Black Moon Rising, I’m back in. This album sounds like the Falconer that accompanied quests to pick up new video game releases, or just go to the grocery store. If you listen to Falconer while en route to get TP, the TP becomes 95% more epic.

The album starts with Locust Storm and a great dual guitar/double bass kick intro, and once the vocals kick in you’re prepped for a great ride. There’s even a break after the first chorus that has a kind of ominous bend to it, like the locusts are wreaking havoc on the land, eating all your stuff. The chorus features the similar dissonance of insanely fast drumming with Mathias Blad’s fantastic singing, something few bands can really accomplish like Falconer.

I’d like to talk about the vocals for a bit. Most of the time I listen to metal I’m all about noodly guitars and crazy basslines, because, hey, heavy metal. I do love hearing great, unique vocal work, such as the crazy falsetto of Cam Pipes or any of the metal gods like Halford or Bruce Dickinson, but most acts I follow for the guitars & drums & stuff.

The vocal work in Falconer seems more fitting in theater than power metal, and that combination really amps up the pomp of the material. This is all due to Mathias Blad, one of the most amazing singers in metal, and really in music in general. As a formally trained opera singer, he is able to hit great notes while staying within a natural range. You don’t need to scream out a falsetto or get all guttural when you can ride a note for a few measures no sweat. I am very certain he could recite the phone book and I’d give it at least a couple listens. Given his theater and opera background, it’d probably sound awesome.

Back to the album, Wasteland is one of my favorite tracks. Going from feedback to explosions to massive drums right in your face just amps me up for the vocals that lilt and dance above the instruments. Karsten Larsson does some amazing stuff with the drums, able to run crazy fast double kick while layering in complex rhythms that help drive the songs along. The song has a bit heavier/chuggy feel to it, reinforcing the mood that there’s some form of escape going on. And breaking free out of this wasteland, that seems important. This is another one of those songs that you drop into the end of an exercise mix just to see how fast you can get your heart going when you think you’re out of gas.

There’s a Crow on the Barrow shows off some of the gallop rhythms that are part and parcel of power metal, plus some of the guitar phrases familiar to older Falconer tracks. And I just learned a barrow is a small hill or mound. Thank you, Falconer, for teaching me! And if you’re looking for folky power metal, the Priory is a great fit.

Some people want bands to continually change and evolve their sound. But sometimes it’s great to just settle in and get your face rocked with familiar and solid power metal. Falconer is able to play different themes and styles into their music with deft skill, going from balls out fast metal, to power ballads, to folk metal, and back. This is definitely a top metal album of 2014 for me.

 

Locust Swarm:

Friday Morning Metal – Tyr – Hold the Heathen Hammer High

My buddy Pat is big into folk power metal. Big vocal harmonies, really clean vocals, and songs about wizards & pagans. The main one we used to rock out to on drives to Taco Bell was Falconer, with their classically trained singer. And the Lord of the Blacksmiths made shields and other things. Great stuff.

Anyway, Tyr is another band he got me listening to, and I think the best way I can describe it is Viking power metal. This is their video for “Hold the Heathen Hammer High,” where they Viking the hell out.

Friday Morning Metal – Scelerata – Rising Sun

Got some power metal today, Scelerata, straight from Brazil. The first time I heard Rising Sun, it almost sounded like a collaboration between Hibria and Hammerfall. With some crazy noodly guitars, fantastic singing, and those breakdowns that give you a rest from constant headbanging, Scelerata are a great listen.

Friday Morning Metal – 3 Inches of Blood – Leather Lord

3 Inches of Blood, those Canadian masters of power metal, have another video out, this time for Leather Lord. It totally reminds me of older metal videos, with the band shredding over a trippy background. Then Pipes’ eyes go white on a high note and it’s even more amazing.

Friday Morning Metal – Powerglove – Batman

I’ve posted some Powerglove before, they do metal covers of cartoon theme music & other great stuff. Their album, Saturday Morning Apocalypse, has some great covers, including the Johnny Quest reboot theme, X-Men, and Batman: The Animated Series. There’s even a video for Batman: The Animated series. Behold!