Oh, damn. I forgot to get to the cheese shop and procure myself a dose of fondue. You know, molten cheese with bread, imbibed with white wine and lots of garlic. Because you will be in need of a few (many) mighty cosmic bites of this excuse to eat bread with cheese.
If you are to survive Gloryhammer‘s latest space epic Legends from Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex, that is. At least judging by their last record they unleashed onto the unsuspecting fan crowd.
Gloryhammer already garnered quite some attention in 2013 with Tales of the Kingdom of Fife, the one that still stayed firmly in the lands of magick. And equally firmly on the ground.
Yet, their tale really took off by the time the mighty hammer of glory started to rule the galaxy out of Dundee. Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards really allowed for Angus McFife to make an impression on this Power Metal vortex these guys dwell in.
And boy, did we have fun to review them space cowboys from Gloryhammer. For starters, unless others in the Power Metal universe, these guys don’t go for anything near the polished seriousness outfits like Kamelot throw at us. Instead, you’ll find abject silliness galore at levels that one first needs to find in the vastness of the mighty music industry. And that is why the RMR deck crew loves to have them playing on our sound machine. It’s just fun and games to listen to them.
So, how’s the fun level on Legends?
This is again a record of Scottish Space Metal concocted by trve believers of their cosmic destiny. Those that set out to use the Heavy Metal Darklord Smasher to smite the mighty goblin forces of beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex.
The footsteps of Space 1992 are huge, though. And difficult to fill by any one sequel that Gloryhammer could possibly master with a lot of success. Yet again, this new album latches seamlessly on to what was before. Although, a certain industrialized polish crept into the production. And – in turn – a lot of the delicious delirium that Space 1992 was famous for vanished into the mighty galaxy. Or perhaps it went through the vortex and disappeared forever.
Methinks that Legends is a bit more aligned the perceived wishes of the Fantasy Metal crowd. So, in this sense, Gloryhammer bowed a tad too mightily to the gods of commerce. And in the process kinda lost some of the magnanimous freshness that the hootsmen of earlier works so lustily engaged in.
Yet and the above notwithstanding, I found myself in an astral church of sorts once Legends started. A mixture of Davy Jones on his submerged organ and an out-of-control sequence of Star Wars that never saw the light of day. Surreal Disneyland on steroids. That’s the mighty cheese hammer right there.
But then, I asked for nothing else, right? After all, I signed up for more wacky lunacy on a cosmic scale once I hit that play button. Along with the dark voice of da master telling me what the matter is this time.
So, it all goes with the territory.
True, some of the magic dust sadly left the building. But Legends from Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex gorges with a score of insanely addictive tracks, with licks and hooks that are just irresistible. I found myself madly humming along Masters of the Galaxy, for instance. To the point that people stared weirdly at me. Or take Land of the Unicorns. You know, the one with two solos to boot. One on keys and the other with guitars.
That said, Thomas Winkler continues to throw his considerable belting powers into this galactic fighting range and pulls this spaceship forward with a reach that still amazes me to this day. This is just outstanding performance right there and lucky are the folks of Gloryhammer for that kind of prowess.
Yet it is Christopher Bowes‘ (Alestorm) pretty astral-level songwriting skills that create all that liquid dust. The one substance that – finally – will be the downfall of Zargothrax and – sadly – lead to the demise of Angus McFife as well. But I am getting ahead of myself.
This links into a pretty flawless production that, apart from a slight overcompression, contains nothing to balk at. All musicians perform with a precision that goes beyond German capability. But then, you kind of have to do that, if you are to succeed in the empty wastes that dwell beyond the terrorvortex.
To finally close this force field, Legends from Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex comes along as a true sequel. Not quite a repeat of their earlier piece of work, but it is close.
In this light, it may be a good thing that both epic adversaries meet their unseemly end. One dissolving into liquid dust, and the other one sacrificing himself. Whilst I am still positively lathered in cheese and covered in galactic space dust, the air might be out of all that gallivanting about space goblins and laser-stressed unicorns.
Yet, this second installment of the Scottish space force fighting for the glory of Dundee positively blazed out of our boomboxes for days now. And we kinda got addicted to the speedy Power Metal that launches all these submarines out into space to hunt the evil master. And it is these insanely catchy songs, the stellar production and outstanding performance of Gloryhammer that really renders Legends memorable.
Now, don’t waste a moment and indulge in the power of hoots. And by all means, go see them live. This will be so otherworldly, you will think you roam the galaxy. But then, you kind of do.
[And congratulations – the record successfully made it onto the Intermittent Digest – Tome IX!]