Marius Danielsen – “Legend Of Valley Doom Part 3” (Crime Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Inspired for life when he saw Iron Maiden for the first time aged 15, Marius Danielsen’s heart was also swept away by films like “Braveheart”, “Lord Of The Rings” and “Star Wars”, so much so in fact, that he began his own quest in a rock opera now known as the Legend Of Valley Doom! Joined by his brother Peter, they continued to develop the project together, until realising their dream when the first album was released in 2015. With Marius handling guitars / vocals and Peter on vocals/ keyboards / orchestrations, what impressed even more was sheer range of guest names who also believed in the concept such as Mark Boals (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, Dokken), Edu Falaschi (ex-Angra, Almah), Timo Tolkki (ex-Stratovarius, Avalon), Chris Caffery (Savatage, Trans-Siberian Orchestra), Ross the Boss (ex-Manowar, DeathDealer), Robb Weir (Tygers of Pan Tang), Mike LePond (Symphony X) and Alex Holzwarth (Rhapsody of Fire)! Gathering momentum in 2018 for Part 2, the brothers were joined by no less than Michael Kiske (Helloween, Avantasia, Unisonic), Blaze Bayley (ex-Iron Maiden, Wolvesbane), Bruce Kulick (ex-KISS), Tom Naumann (Primal Fear), Tracy G (ex-Dio), Jens Ludwig (Edguy) and Vinny Appice (ex-Dio, ex-Black Sabbath), which read like the film cast of one of Marius’s epic movies, really prompting the question of how he was drawing such luminaries to his work, although by then his stupendous compositions were more than answering all the questions! Now comes the epic conclusion to the trilogy and the names are just rolling in from the narrations of famed actor John Rhys-Davies (Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones) to vocalists like Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear, Gamma Ray), Tim Ripper Owens (Judas Priest, Iced Earth) and Herbie Langhans (Avantasia, Seventh Avenue, Firewind), along with guitarists Ronni Le Tekrø (TNT), Richard Fortus (Guns N Roses, The Dead Daisies), Jennifer Batten (Michael Jackson), Tommy Johansson (Sabaton, Majestica, ReinXeed) and Dushan Petrossi (Iron Mask, Magic Kingdom). Together with many other contributions, nothing should, however, take away from the brothers’ own musicianship, as well as their song writing talents. Additionally, I’m glad to say that the epic power metal of their music is what is central rather than being secondary to the story and while the guest list is truly jaw dropping, the talent of the stars isn’t designed to carry the project but rather to give each song that extra special touch. Indeed, as the gloriously uplifting tones and positive vibes on ‘Journey To The North’ majestically sound, the soaring passionate vocals add to the bountiful keyboard melodies in building the rich sound that leads to the energised singalong chorus graced by multiple vocal harmonies in what is essentially a giant collaboration rather than a competitive contrast. Speeding up on ‘Tomb Of The Fallen Kings’, the guitar and keyboard melodies are nothing short of heavenly as they add to the beauty of the song, graced by more varied vocal combinations, although all equally abundant in their spirit and passion by adding tons of emotion as the guitars feed in their own dexterous wailing and neo classical brilliance to create yet another winning epic of titanic proportions. Closing this magnificent chapter as majestically as it began, ‘For Our King And For Our Lord’ graciously sounds its deep melodies through red blooded vocals and full-bodied choirs backed by matching guitars crooning, wailing and screaming in more neo classical splendour to the spectacular bombast of an album that will leave you both exhausted in every sense – although with a big, happy smile. So join the Danielsen brothers – and half the metal world – on this amazing quest, for it goes well beyond the teenage dreams of a young lad….