Is it a good idea to review a reissue of an older record and Power Metal to boot? Probably not. Many a metalhead will cringe in (often imaginary) pain and leave this ‘zine screaming. After all, the cheesy flavor of those power folks is no better than the horrific terrors of glam. Right?
Well, 2022 has yielded some pretty neat to truly excellent material in the PM arena. It’s not all gold and shiny diamonds, though. Some of that metal of the light didn’t quite sync with the unfathomable hardline opinions of the RMR review board.1) But for this record, the alluring promise for more sugar and cheese took over at the RMR office tower. So, exception granted. And full steam ahead for Evermore‘s Court of the Tyrant King.
Velocity truly is of the essence once Tyrant King leaves the barn in a tearing hurry. Johan Haraldsson‘s high-octane wail will immediately usurp your eardrums. And they won’t leave you anymore for the duration of the record. To the point of suffering from some sensory overload after a while,2) imagined or not.
In other words, Evermore here serve trve Power Metal at speed levels that might make the folks over at Unleash the Archers raise their heads. But it doesn’t deliver with giddy sugary happiness this time and remains without fantasy lore and other miscellaneous UFOs. Instead, you’ll get some evil bickering and dirty sneers befitting a rotten court. After all, the theme talks about a tyrant. A storyline that could well apply to modern times as well as to some time travel back to medieval halls of power.
And yet. As refined to a point as the album may be, Tyrant King here doesn’t showcase new bold style directions, storming castles nobody dared to enter yet. With all its pretty limitless energy, the record is after all a trve mix of what was before. Avantasia, Helloween, Edguy, come to mind, to name just a few. Sometimes this felt as if Kiske and Sammet were rummaging about in the background. That said, the piece gorges with majestic riffs, roaring blast beats, and some shredding that almost led us to hyperventilate a few times. And they did this without falling into the UtA trap during their Mad Max times. That’s quite a feat in and by itself.
On top of all that, Evermore often gallops about the soundscape at levels of intensity ready to turn Bruce Dickinson into a dizzy mess. My Last Command would qualify for a not-so-genteel ride on a Power Metal-crazed destrier, for instance. But joking apart, the record is pretty much spiked with stellar tracks. Call of the Wild, See No Evil, or – again – the title track Court of the Tyrant King are prime examples of great PM craftsmanship. That’s where you’ll get your fix, once extreme cravings for sugar-laden, slightly cheesy metallic fare cause insomnia at 3 am.
Finally however, Court of the Tyrant King delivers exactly what it promises. And that is sturdy, down-to-earth, and well-produced Power Metal. A somewhat risk-free brand that roars right down the middle of that slightly cheesy highway without much of a trespass left or right. A bit akin to the same safe and sound approach other bands already took before them.
In other words, Evermore for sure ain’t no Fellowship (yet), but they got the goods to take their metal a few steps up the ladder. If and when they’ll put their minds and considerable talent to finding a more daring avenue to unbridled Power Metal glory.
The RMR scouts will be waiting.