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Review: White Skull - Public Glory, Secret Agony
White Skull
Public Glory, Secret Agony

Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2000
Duration: 57:02
Tracks: 11
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: March 8, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Public Glory, Secret Agony

Rated 4/5 (80%) (21 Votes)

I had never paid much attention to White Skull. I had read tepid reviews of "The Dark Age" and the band was described to me as a 'second-rate Dark Moor'. Testament to this is that of the files of albums Tony sent me a month or two back, this was one of the last ones I've gotten around to listening to. Well folks, I'm sorry I put this band off so long, because "Public Glory, Secret Agony" fucking kills.

The only similarity I can really see to Dark Moor is that on this album (though no longer) White Skull have a female singer. She doesn't sound a lot like Elisa, but with the accent there is a certain similarity. Also, White Skull play hella fast, but they have very little in the way of symphonic stylings. This is much more like a more melodic Grave Digger than like most flower-happy Power Metal. There are some keys going on here, and you have the big, big choruses, so I definitely put this in the euro-power-metal category. The cool thing is that White Skull never forget this is supposed to be metal, and their songs are all about the guitar. There is nothing groundbreaking about their sound, but they chug out some very cool riffs and keep the pedal to the metal the whole way through. Singer Frederica is no Tarja, hell, she ain't even Elisa; but she has a lot of attitude that carries her past the limitations of her vocals. Though on the ballad "In The Field Of Peace" she shows she can actually sing when she wants, most of the time she uses a gritty tone that reminds my wife of Sebastian Bach.

Lyrically, this is a concept album about the events between the murder of Julius Caesar and the Battle Of Actium. The lyrics aren't going to win any awards, but I like a good epic storyline, which the lyrical theme (plus some long songs) certainly provides. And it certainly makes more sense for an Italian band to do an album about Rome than one about Vikings. Though White Skull did that too, on "Tales From The North"

So White Skull aren't going to win any prizes for originality, but they do what they do very well. For fast, catchy Power Metal in the Grave Digger/Wizard/Vhaldemar vein with crunchy guitars and lots of hooks, this is a good pick. Normally I like my metal either heavier or weirder than this, but I keep reaching for this one, and I'm certainly going to look into more of this band's stuff. Recommended.

Other related information on the site
Review: Metal Never Rusts (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Tales From The North (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Dark Age (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Ring Of The Ancients (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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