Review Summary: Sometimes you need a bit more cheesy power metal in your life.
Power-metal is a strange thing. Most is so cheesy that you wouldn't go near it with a 9 foot pole, be it the overuse of high vocal harmonies, similar sounding harmonies and often fantasy-based lyrics. Gloryhammer is no exception to this rule, bringing all of the above in force. However, it isn't as bad as it could really be, all things considered. The story is amusing, the guitars flamboyant, yet not to the same level of similar bands in the genre, not mentioning names.
Now, it would be easy to talk about how the band doesn't push any boundaries, how the story isn't particularly original and some of the guitar harmonies sounds a little bit too
similar to Alestorm (Which isn't surprising considering Christopher Bowes is at the helm of the band). It would be too easy to talk about all of this and say how it brings down the overall quality of the record, but for once, I'm not going to discuss those things.
Why? Because this record isn't supposed to be taken so literally. It's an easy album to sit down, listen to, sing along, laugh along, whatever it is that you do when you listen an album you enjoy. With music like this, there is no point trying to hold it to a ridiculously high standard of quality, when in reality, all it comes down to is the fact that is easy music that was made to be listened to casually. It isn't designed to be a classic of the ages, the next Master of Puppets
, it's not trying to bring power metal forwards into a new golden age. All it provides for the listeners is amusement, rather than trying to convey a political message, a source of anger for the people of the underground.
The production on this is crisp, the solos tight, the keyboards, whilst leaning on the cliche side of things, add another dimension to the story. Unicorns aside, the lyrics are amusing and the fact that the band put the effort into writing their own specific characters and plotline makes it just that much more interesting. The story follows the tale of Angus McFife and his battle against the wizard Zargothax, whilst encountering dragons and magic along the way.
After all this, the album is really just an enjoyable listen, one to listen to with your friends or just listen to when you're feeling a little flat. The infectious harmonies will be sure to pick up a listeners interest, whilst avoiding the pitfalls of other groups in the genre.