German power metal quartet return with their 10th album. Klaus Sperling, Chris Bay, Sammy Saemann & Lars Rettkowitz make up the current line up of the band begun back in 1998. I had not come across this band before, and had no idea what to expect, I certainly found many surprises along the way.
Age of the Phoenix would not be out of place in a musical pirate film, think Pirates of the Caribbean as a stage musical, I would go see that. Rockstars is fun and frantic and as catchy as hell. Crimson Dawn returns to the Pirate theme with grand group choruses and classic storytelling. 66 Warriors begins with mystical chantings and has a bass line that draws you in, the vocals remind me of Journey at times, whilst Back into the Land of Light is a victorious celebration. Things change for Sun in the Dark, its different in style, verses remind me of Nickelback, especially with the guitar, its followed by the very poppy, Glee meets Journey Hero on Video. Valley of Kingdom returns to the Pirates epic myths and legends, storytelling lyrics and a childlike innocence. Killer Gear takes the Pirates theme to a new place, this is Sinbad, Arabian Nights and turns out to be about playing Warcraft on computer. Rockin’ Radio is a visit to all the best 80’s bands, Kiss mixed with GnR, lively and fun, its like a happy jingle, slightly tongue in cheek. If I thought I knew where this was going, the next song was a surprise turn, Terra Liberty is grungy, more like Soundgarden in style. Eternity is a song with so many twists and turns in style it is hard to describe, but it made me feel good. Space Legends brings us back to computer gaming, jubilant and victorious. Power & Glory, party anthem, sure was not expecting the bagpipes (not sure they are bagpipes, just guitar riffs sounding like bagpipes, listened a few times and cannot make mind up), a classic New Years Eve drinking song in the making to end the album.
How can I sum this CD up, its happy metal, very European sounding for the most part. I am reminded at times of Magnum, Helloween, Scorpions, Rush, Journey and Iron Maiden, but then it also alludes to Kiss, GnR, Soundgarden, Nickelback, it’s a real surprise package. For a band I had never come across, I was completely won over, this is retro in many ways, but not buried in the past and has such energy and exuberance that you cannot help but be intoxicated by it.
I am addicted to it