Review Summary: Japanese neo-classical power metal. Yeah, it's good.
Any Galneryus album is a straightforward Galneryus album. Some may argue that they don’t try to expand their sound, because of that reoccurring problem of staying consistent with their brand of neo-classical power metal. Unfortunately, for them, it’s like arguing that the sky isn’t blue. Galneryus have been known to approach their music with different elements in every album that they create. Phoenix Rising
had J-pop and specific progressive elements, Resurrection
had jazz-fusion styled keyboard, The Flag of Punishment
was a straight up extreme power metal album, Beyond the End of Despair...
focused on more melody and less shred. Having that said, it’s quite difficult to argue anything about their consistency and lack of inspiration. In Angel of Salvation
, we see the prolific entourage of Japanese neo-classical shredders expand their horizon of influence into the realm of a stronger symphonic threshold.
“Reach to the Sky” starts off with a melody that’s being dominated by an orchestra and symphony that gives off the atmospheric vibe before entering a boss fight. While the intro ends on a heavy note with a voice yelling, this ultimately gives off the impression that the proceeding song “The Promised Flag” will be a hard-hitter and in your face till the end. In the beginning, the transition gives off a mixed message, because the song goes straight into a poppy symphonic melody instead of a crushing guitar riff that most people will be expecting when listening. Nevertheless, that turns out to be a minor transition when you realized you’re on an epic journey with the band’s overall newly enhanced sound.
The following songs “Temptation Through the Night”, “Hunting For Your Dreams”, and “Lonely as a Stranger” are great examples of how consistent Galneryus can be as a whole. Consistency is the key to their success in these songs and the ones that follow afterwards. Whether it’s the main riff, catchy vocals, melodic solos, or whatever, they still come up with something that can fit into perfection every time it seems like even when something blatantly looks bleak for the rest.
Right before the 14-minute epic that is the self-titled track, “Lament” and “Infinity” are the buffer tracks before “Angel of Salvation”. The thing that's noticeable about these two songs isn’t the strength or shred-tastic structure of certain parts, but instead it’s the melodies that chromatically build up the epic atmosphere for the longest song Galneryus has ever written to date. Even though the song is an epic by all standards, surprisingly it’s actually not the best song off of the album. But it reflects as the album’s epicenter, even if the surrounding songs have more to say.
In conclusion, Angel of Salvation
is just another Galneryus album – another Galneryus album that slaps you in the face repeatedly with neo-classical shred and catchy as hell symphonic melodies. Oh yeah, and vocals… vocals are catchy. Angel of Salvation
, is an essential release in 2012 for the neo-classical power metal genre - no doubt about that.