Gloryhammer - Tales from the Kingdom of Fife
Napalm Records
Symphonic/Power Metal
10 songs (48'08'')
Release year: 2013
Napalm Records
Reviewed by Jared
Surprise of the month

Christopher Bowes, keyboardist of Alestorm, has been busy on a new project this year expanding his talent for many power metal lovers. There is a big future in store for this brand new power metal band which is to span a total of 21 albums. The band’s concept is based around a separate story of each member of the band, which will no doubt bring many creative albums in the near future. This is indeed some very good power metal for the year, but it sounds a little too much like a repeat of many other sounds I’ve heard before. However, Gloryhammer combines a lot of catchy choruses and even humor to the mix to make this album yet another great find for 2013.

Like a lot of power metal bands, Gloryhammer strive to set ambitious settings to their music. Images pop to mind such as a fantasy world filled with magic and great battles abound. Gloryhammer is no different in terms of storytelling, but their humor right off at the beginning of the album set the mood for me perfectly. The opening, like many power metal or symphonic bands like to start, is an entire symphonic piece layered over by a narrator talking about the destruction of the city of Dundee. The immediate title, The Unicorn Invasion of Dundee, had me and a good friend of mine having a worthy laugh and also taking the time to appreciate the humor the band has. Just the simple quick fashion of the words “the unicorn invasion of Dundee” during each repeated chorus of the song made me split my sides a couple of times. The title is nothing to be scared away from, as this song is a very respectable power metal song as well as many of the others on the album.

Song structures are simple and rely on a lot of memorable choruses that are easy to find yourself singing along to, despite maybe feeling like a complete goof if you decide to do so. The song Angus McFife is no stranger to catchiness, as it is the most well-known song from the current album. Even the music video for the song itself shows that the band is definitely having a lot of fun performing and playing these songs, as it is always wonderful to see with any musicians.

Probably my favorite song on the album, Magic Dragon, has one of the most pleasing choruses of the entire album as well as a drum pattern and heavy guitars that just play perfectly with the great vocals. The chorus is set to deliver a more epic choir feel with each repeat. It’s also good to mention the keyboards on this track take on a very medieval sound. That is also one of the features of the album I like best in the album. Keyboard and symphonic elements are heard well in each song and take time to gleam in almost every track heard, especially in the slower song, Silent Tears of Frozen Princess. The one lone slow track does not deviate away from the overall consistency of the album. Songs will not be the speed power metal style like many maybe looking for, but the lack of speed is not issue. Songs are done very well and are indeed done in a grand fashion. Even though guitar solos may not be at top speed on this album, there are still great licks to be heard even though there aren’t many to go around like I was hoping for.

For a debut album, Gloryhammer has done a nice job in establishing a foot for themselves in the epic and fantasy power metal category. The album will sure give you a few laughs in terms of the lyrics, but the songs are easy to love in the end. It may be an album that may sound a little repeated in the past; it is still a very good album to become familiar with for the year and a band to keep an eye on in the future.

Killing Songs :
Angus McFife, Magic Dragon, Hail to Crail, The Epic Rage of Furious Thunder
Jared quoted 78 / 100
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