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Review: Gloryhammer - Legends from Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex
Legends from Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex

Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2019
Duration: 49:33
Tracks: 10
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 5/5

Review online: August 8, 2021
Reviewed by: Micah.Ram
Readers Rating
Legends from Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex

Rated 4.25/5 (85%) (4 Votes)

Perhaps the most unusual way to enter the realm of Gloryhammer is by checking out the latest album first, which is what I did here. I've since gone back and visited the other two albums as well, multiple times. Why? Because like some video game or movie series, Gloryhammer tell a story across multiple releases. This is not your average Power Metal story, either. This one reaches far beyond the galaxies in theme, while still relating to Earth in the whackiest of ways. Each of the band members have fun aliases, which I later discovered were names of the main characters of the storyline. Best of all, while perhaps it is not meant to be taken seriously, it is wildly enjoyable all around.

Perhaps for a Metal review I should focus on the music, but with this kind of thing the lyrics are just as important as the sound of the record. Regardless, in focusing on the music, what a listener can expect here is powerful and varied vocals by Thomas Winkler of Emerald fame, guitars which frequently trade off between high-energy rhythm work and blistering solos, and energetic drumming. The keyboardist, Christopher Bowes of Alestorm, plays a huge role here, always providing a texture throughout the whole album and is frequently the most important instrumental role. His keyboard solos and imaginative keyboard playing are all highlights of the experience.

The tracks tend to flow with a light and frequently positive vibe while also exploring darker soundscapes too, mostly reflecting the darker moments within the storytelling, which is done admirably. Tracks like "The Siege of Dunkeld (In Hoots We Trust)," "Power of the Laser Dragon Fire," and "Legendary Enchanted Jetpack" all bring the light and speedy fun with booming choruses and extremely colorful writing, all highlights of the record. The eighth track, "Gloryhammer," feels powerful and vital to the record. While it may not answer the question of "What is the Gloryhammer," it highlights the importance of the weapon with a musical energy that supports the effort to portray it as the central force of the journey. The last track, "The Fires of Ancient Cosmic Destiny," is a twelve-and-a-half-minute epic that falls in line with the previous albums both story-wise and musically. There are great epic sensibilities here in the storytelling and narration, as well as in the various moods and musical energies. Our vocalist here puts everything on display, and my favorite moment of the album is here following the defeat(?) of Zargothrax. I won't spoil anything here, just go check it out. It was especially during this track on my first few listens in which I felt a need to discover the earlier albums, especially due to my wondering for the longest time "What is Hoots?" Hoots turns out to be quite the important character...who knew?

Legends from Beyond... is an outstanding Power Metal album and is the third installment to a wild and epic story that you probably didn't know you needed. If you're not sure, go check out "The Siege of Dunkeld (In Hoots We Trust)," "Power of the Laser Dragon Fire," "Gloryhammer," my personal favorite "Legendary Enchanted Jetpack," or the epic closer "The Fires of Ancient Cosmic Destiny." And once you've done this, do yourself a favor and start from the first album and work your way back up to this one. Enjoy the ride, and don't take any of it too seriously!

Other related information on the site
Review: Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards (reviewed by Micah.Ram)
Review: Tales from the Kingdom of Fife (reviewed by MetalMike)
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