add lossless…Gloryhammer is that all-too-rare band that embodies everything tiresome, juvenile, cliché, and hopelessly stupid about a genre and somehow manages to make it sound fresh and exciting – or at least extremely fun. Such an earnest overstuffing of cheese makes it hard to read them sometimes, as Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife demonstrated. Yet for Gloryhammer, this mission of dragons, wizards, undead unicorns… space goblins… hoots… what’s a Questlord of Inverness? Well, anyway, it’s a celebration of power metal, even a vaguely-messianic fulfillment, rather than a condemnation of its bloated excess.
[spoiler] Gloryhammer have mastered the art of pulling themselves in two directions at once. Space 1992: Rise Of The Chaos Wizards is poncier, sillier, and more deliciously absurd than Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife, and yet it simultaneously pushes itself to expound and improve upon the power metal formulas majestically lampooned on the debut. Anyone familiar with Christopher Bowes’s work (not only Alestorm, but asdfgfa, Gaylord Tennis, and his very sophisticated, high-society Christmas album) knows that there is no distinction between the larky send-up and the serious effort for him. These guys will gallivant across all corners of ludicrousness, but they will never half-ass it. It’s all systems go for
Thomas Winkler Angus McFife XIII, who truly unleashes his vocal fire on this album, especially in “Hollywood Hootsman”; his unflappable war cry puts legions of competitors to shame. On top of that, insignificant though it may be, I absolutely must point out that the selection of words and syllables for the chorus of “Rise Of The Chaos Wizards” is extraordinarily aesthetically pleasing. People tend to discount the importance of language in the overall impact of a song, but those are some very well-chosen phonemes, let me tell you.As the legendarily fantastic single “Universe On Fire” indicates, this album incorporates some more “techno-friendly” elements – and by that I just mean a larger, more interesting, and occasionally more experimental keyboard presence. After all, you can’t have a mighty, epic war set in space without some futuristic sound effects to accompany it. It even finishes with a soothing ambient piece. Ordinarily I would call it an outro, but at four-and-a-half minutes, a spacey Enya blanket is no longer a set piece; it’s just a short ambient song. Fans who were discouraged by the robotic, modernized sheen of “Universe On Fire” may rest assured that Space 1992 follows closely and gloriously the glorious standards of power metal glory, but should nonetheless reconsider their false opinions about that song.I’ll not go so far as to say that Space 1992 is a major improvement over Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife, because you can only do so much to make better what was already pretty kickass to begin with. At the moment, I still think it edges out its predecessor, but no matter; what we have here is a duology of fierce power, mind-melting melody, and genuinely intriguing mythology that is somehow unique and gripping in its ultra-clichéd stupidity. [/spoiler]
By their very nature, Gloryhammer will probably eternally confuse some curious customers who never expected to hear the phrase “the cosmic rage of astral dwarves from Aberdeen,” but Space 1992 is louder, faster, heavier, spacier, and hootsier than Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife, and will certainly please anyone who has eagerly awaited this release. It’s the most fun you’ll ever have learning about Scottish history (sorry, Grave Digger).
01. Infernus ad Astra
02. Rise of the Chaos Wizards
03. Legend of the Astral Hammer
04. Goblin King of the Darkstorm Galaxy
05. The Hollywood Hootsman
06. Victorious Eagle Warfare
07. Questlords of Inverness, Ride to the Galactic Fortress!
08. Universe on Fire
09. Heroes (of Dundee)
10. Apocalypse 1992
01. Main Title
02. The Attack on Triton
03. Angus McFife XIII’s Theme
04. An Evil Wizard Does a Quest
05. The King of California
06. Ser Proletius Returns
07. Lords of Space and Time
08. To Claim Space Throne
09. An Epic War is Fight
10. Dundee Will Fall
James Cartwright – Bass (2010-present) (Hoarstone, ex-Bumilingus)
Ben Turk – Drums (2010-present) (Sorcerer’s Spell)
Paul Templing – Guitars (2010-present) (Annwn, Sorcerer’s Spell, ex-Blackout)
Christopher Bowes – Keyboards (2010-present) (Alestorm, ex-Bumilingus, ex-Fröstskög, ex-Perth, ex-Battleheart, asdfgfa, Christopher Bowes, Splen, ex-Der Krauts, ex-Gaylord Tennis, ex-Jimmy Fuckbob and the Shitting Pirates ok?, ex-Kalamari Mongoloid)
Thomas Winkler – Vocals (2011-present) (Barque of Dante, ex-Nieverlore, ex-Emerald)
Gloryhammer – Space 1992: Rise Of The Chaos Wizards (Deluxe Edition) 2015 mp3 + lossless
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