Gloryhammer – “Legends from Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex” (Napalm Records)
Behold, the mighty warriors of the galaxy have returned! Even if you don’t believe in the bold exploits of legendary Prince Angus McFife XIII, there’s no denying the power of Gloryhammer, whose melodic power metal is sure to energise the parts other bands cannot reach. Formed by keyboardist Christopher Bowes (lead vocalist of Alestorm) in 2013, Gloryhammer have released 2 prior albums, been nominated best ‘Up & Coming’ band by Metal Hammer Germany in 2017, and undertaken tours across Europe and North America. Influenced a whole load of intergalactic space films, each member represents a character in their non too serious concept, taking to the stage in armour and costumes, so it’s easy to see the fun appeal of the band who instantly endear themselves to you. That said, the music is anything but trivial, and on “Legends from Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex”, the winning sounds of Powerwolf, Sabaton, Lordi, Freedom Call, Rhapsody and even symphonic grace charge the 10 highly catchy numbers, although it’s worth noting that Bowes has not chosen to draw from his own band, which is sensible. So strap up and hit the thrusters as you launch into ‘The Siege of Dunkeld’ with its mighty male and female operatic choirs led by Thomas Winkler’s heroically soulful vocals that gamely head into the irresistible singalong chorus of ‘..In Hoots We Trust!!’, backed by Ben Turk’s (Ralathor) thumping drums of power and Bowes space rock sounds. With Paul Templing’s (Ser Proletius) sterling guitar work taking us into melodic majesty of the faster ‘Power Of The Laser Dragon Fire’, the huge passion is undeniable in Winkler’s singing, backed by even more addictive harmonies from Bowes on this truly heart stirring number. Closing with the 12 1/2 minute ‘ The Fires of Ancient Cosmic Destiny’, this epic is made up of 5 parts from the dramatic choral opera of ‘Dundaxian Overture’ to the swanky hard rock of ‘Return of the Astral Demigod of Unst’ with Winkler hitting the award winning highs and Bowes’s keyboards dancing around him, bringing it all together along with spoken word passages to end this highly enjoyable album. So what more can I say except – for the eternal glory of Dundee!