|Review: Metalium - Grounded - Chapter Eight|
|Grounded - Chapter Eight|
Label: Massacre Records
Year released: 2009
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: October 19, 2009
Reviewed by: MetalMike
for:Grounded - Chapter Eight
Rated 3.56/5 (71.11%) (9 Votes)
Grounded – Chapter Eight was an album I was prepared to be utterly underwhelmed by. The eighth album (natch) by Germany's Metalium, Grounded – Chapter Eight is the band's latest take on the Teutonic flavor of Power Metal. Anyone familiar with Metalium's back catalog will know exactly what to expect on this one, but for the uninitiated, allow me to summarize: generic Power Metal. Speedy double-kick songs mixed with more mid-paced grooves, high pitched screams, blistering solos and crystal clear production. You get the idea. Since that was what I was expecting and, upon first listen, that's what I seemed to be getting, I gritted my teeth for a couple of spins. Happily, and surprisingly, there were some bright spots that lift Grounded – Chapter Eight above the rest of the Metalium library.
Clichés still abound on Grounded – Chapter Eight and one need look no further than opening track "Heavy Metal." Now there's an original title. When singer Henning Basse screams "We are heavy metal! If you don't like it, FUCK YOU!" I thought I was in for a long, ugly ride. Fortunately, the band settles down a bit after the opener. "Crossroad Overload" is a mid-paced rocker with a crushing riff and a great solo courtesy of guitarists Matthias Lange and Tolo Grimalt, "Falling into Darkness" picks up the pace before "Once Loyal" sends the double kicks into overdrive. The closer, "Lonely" features a cool, echo-enhanced guitar opening that gives way to a chunky riff. This accompanies singer Basse as he flexes the lower end of his vocal range during the verses, giving "Lonely" a unique sound.
All is not good, though. Most of the riffs sound recycled and Lange's and Grimalt's incessant use of the Zakk Wylde guitar squeal is maddening. Then there is "Borrowed Time", a ballad that sounds like it came from a Stryper album, for crying out loud!
Grounded – Chapter Eight isn't likely to win many converts to the Metalium cause but it is not a bad example of Germanic Power Metal; well played and safely within the boundaries of the genre.
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Interview with Lars Ratz (bass) on November 11, 2009 (Interviewed by MetalMike)
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