Victorius – “Space Ninjas From Hell” (Napalm Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Certainly living up to their name, Victorius play an excellent pedigree of epic power metal that is sure to set your heart and soul aflame! Cheesy they may well be, with comparisons to Powerwolf and Gloryhammer immediately springing to mind, but chivalrous in their metal they certainly are, with no less than 4 prior albums under their belts and European tour supports to Freedom Call, Grave Digger, Majesty and Van Canto. With previous themes of fantasy, battle, and dinosaurs (!), Victorius now seem to have gone for a new image and concept based on an evil ninja clan called The Sunbladers, who join forces with the dragon god Ling Long to enslave the world! While you may be already rolling around on the floor creased up in laughter, especially given vocalist David Baßin could now pass for Ben Stiller from Zoolander (!), one should not understate the ‘Blue Steel’ effect here given the hyper speed, thundering delivery exuding heaps of ultra catchy in bountiful melodies and grooves guaranteed to send you straight to the band’s Cosmic Space Commando Base. Delivered through a Teutonic twin axe attack and Baßin’s pure of knightly heart vocals, not forgetting Frank Koppe’s warp speed drumming, it’s also the amazing rhyming lyrics that will have you singing and air punching for more. Honestly, there are so many hit songs on “Space Ninjas From Hell” that this must surely rank already as a contender for album of the year – and with barely a start into 2020! From ‘Astral Assassin Shark Attack’ where Koppe’s beats threaten spontaneous combustion closely followed by the fretboard shredding of Dirk Scharsich and Florian Zack basking in neo classical heaven, Baßin delivers the death star chorus that blows you away albeit blissfully backed by star trooper shout outs – yeah, it’s really that good! On ‘Evil Wizard WuShu Master’ the massive singalong choruses and fabulous power metal melodies blast glory and passion from the axe majesty as Koppe once again powers the song through at a fearsome pace – man, I really hope this guy lasts cos Victorius have already been through 4 prior drummers! Thankfully slowing the speed down (a tad) on ‘Ninjas Unite’, Victorius really show their measure in mixing symphonic aspects into their power metal, offering a dramatic, almost operatic effect backed by choirs in contrast to the harmonic melody of the chorus and not forgetting once again the fluid axe work and pounding drums that are the band’s signature sound. And so with ‘..thunder and lightning and laser rifles shooting..’ prepare for hara-kiri as Victorius have it all here in one super addictive package!