REVIEW: GLORYHAMMER – “Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards”
When I first listened to this album, I was smiling throughout, because it was so cheesy. I found it amazing that in an age where we see more and more bands trying to do serious material, this exists and it’s awesome. Gloryhammer have been preaching the epic tale of Angus Mcfife since 2013, and with ‘Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards’, they continue their story. But now, Angus has a new enemy. Can he defeat them? Or will they spell his doom?
When I first took up this album, I didn’t know what I was getting into. The name Gloryhammer reminded me of Hammerfall, so I thought it must be some standard medieval power metal about knights, demons, sorcerers and kings. But when I heard their first single from this album on Youtube, “Universe on Fire”, I was pleasantly surprised to hear the standard medieval power metal about knights, demons, sorcerers and kings; but in space! Now, I know what you are thinking: “What’s so great about space?”. My question to you is, have you seen the movie ‘Gravity’? That is basically a car crash in space if you think about it. Space makes everything infinitely awesome, and these guys know that. How can you not love a story about Space Wizards and Goblin Kings from other galaxies!?
The album opens with the explosive track “Rise of the Chaos Wizards”, which just pummels your guts out with that relentless double bass, epic choir and orchestration, setting the tone for the whole album. From that awesome intro, the story of a new evil begins, and who else will fight them but Angus McFife and his friends? The delivery and way in which the story unfolds reminds me of early Rhapsody (Rhapsody of Fire). Some of the songs like “Heroes (of Dundee)” left me feeling proud, and I did not know why; that is the power this music hold. Almost every song is like an anthem, and it might even have you singing the chorus along with singer Thomas Winkler. No one should go into this album expecting some serious, deep, intense music; “Victorious Eagle Warfare” is something you should be excited about even if you have no idea what that means or what it’s supposed to look like. Just enjoy the ride.
I can clearly hear the work put into the production; everything sounds so much more epic than their previous album. There is a choir, and the orchestration sounds so much fuller. As mentioned earlier, the drums punch you in the gut, with some great work by Ben Turk. The bass and guitar work by James Cartwright and Paul Templing respectively is great. The riffs are strong with this one; I loved the solos on most songs, but the more I listened to them, the more I felt that he overdid it with the tapping. Legendary keyboardist Christopher Bowes is great as always, mixing up multiple styles of keyboard on the songs and sometimes within songs. I wasn’t a fan of Winkler’s vocal delivery here, but the music was so good, and there was so much passion in the way that he sang, that I really didn’t mind it too much on this album.
With ‘Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards’, Gloryhammer are announcing their arrival as the new kings of epic power metal. Songs like “Universe on Fire” make you want to dance, while on the other hand, “Victorious Eagle Warfare” will have you and your friends singing along as though you know what that means. Ultimately, that is what this album is about: having fun. Yes, there is a lot of cheese in the lyrics, and yes, the story is crazy and out of this world (literally), but all that doesn’t matter when you are having your fifth pint of beer and singing along to the lyrics without a care in the world.