ALBUM REVIEW : GLORYHAMMER — Legends From Beyond The Galactic Terrorvortex
If you know anything about me, you know that I am a sucker for shtick metal. Intricate storylines and costumes… If your discography is virtually a D&D adventure, I’m in! When I first picked out Gloryhammer, I felt like Indiana Jones finding the Holy Grail; I chose wisely.
After 2 epic albums from my beloved, it’s time for their next chapter: Legends From Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex.
This album is everything we have come to expect of Gloryhammer, serious musical skills, absolutely outlandish content. But putting the ridiculousness of it all aside, Gloryhammer is a REALLY good power metal band, and this album is yet another proof for those who may need one.
In typical Gloryhammer fashion, the album starts with an orchestral track accompanied by our narrator explaining where the story is picking up. Orchestral parts and celestial choirs are imperative for Gloryhammer ; they add just the right amount of epic and whimsy to give them their distinctive sound. While a band like Twilight Force turns it up to 11, Gloryhammer has some restraint with orchestrations — it’s a delicate and perfect balance.
As they did with Space 1992, this album comes with a second disc of all orchestral versions of the songs for when you want to turn down the metal but not get rid of it entirely.
But if it’s metal you want, you’ve come to the right place, and will particularly enjoy the armor-melting solos courtesy of Paul Templing (aka the hologram of Ser Proletius), a seriously underrated guitarist if you ask me.
It also seems Thomas Winkler has found comfort in his mid-range voice, which he uses slightly more on this album. It’s not a noticeable change from his usual, the vocals are just a little less Marc Hudson and a little more Timo Kotipelto. Fear not, there are still plenty of his mighty glorious glass-shattering vocals.
The song “Gloryhammer” is the best song this band has ever created, in my opinion. It comes a bit past the halfway mark on this album in all its fist pumping glory. I’ve been listening to it since they released it as the first single for this album, and I still can't get over it. It dethroned my favourites “Amulet of Justice” and “Rise of the Chaos Wizards” right away. So of course I think it is the best song on the album.
Gloryhammer — Gloryhammer
The following track is a close second. It has the soul of a classic Rhapsody of Fire song, from the intro to the chorus all the way to the pitch change towards the end. But this is no “Holy Thunderforce”, it’s “HOOTSFORCE”!
Between this song , “The Siege of Dunkeld” and “The Fires of Ancient Cosmic Destiny”, the people will get its share of the Hootsman, even his first recorded spoken appearance!
Gloryhammer again re-used the ominous, Imperial March-y melody from “Anstruther’s Dark Prophecy” on this album, sneaking it in twice (that I noticed), which as you know is one of my favourite things; it’s like an Easter egg for my ears!
Again not straying from their formula, the longest, most intricate song is the final one, recounting the final battle and closing the chapter while introducing a twist that leaves the storyline open for the next album (and fans wondering WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT?). Even though Chris Bowes pretty much leaked the whole timeline on Reddit years ago, it’s good to get the story in all the details!
Honestly, Legends From Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex is an excellently-crafted album. Had they steered this band in a serious direction, they would be talked about for their collective talent, and not their intricate sci-fi storylines and ridiculous props. They are masters of the galaxy of ludicrous metal, but they are also actually talented as fuck. They could have been an ordinary band. But they’re not, and we love them for it.
If you, like me, are very invested in this silly adventure, this album is also full of magical weapons old and new, character plot twists, closing storyline gaps, and even a return over the mountains and across the river Tay, where it all started.
I am convinced no Gloryhammer fan will be disappointed in anything in this album. And if Legends From Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex doesn’t find its place as one of the top power metal albums of the year, I will just hurl myself into a volcano.
GLORYHAMMER — Legends From Beyond The Galactic Terrorvortex
Release date: May 31, 2019
▶ Listen to Gloryhammer on Spotify