From the mind of pirate captain Christopher Bowes (Alestorm) comes now a new tale of heroic fantasy and heavy metal riff-loaded awesomeness. Under the identity of an evil wizard from the far away land of Fife, Bowes presents us the début album of his side project Gloryhammer.
The album titled Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife is a full power metal discharge from beginning to end. With all the majesty and epicness displayed in an album by Blind Guardian or Rhapsody Of Fire, Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife opens with Anstruther’s Dark Prophecy, an intro that drafts what it will be the rest of the album. A trip down to the most delicious, and talented power metal greatness. The Unicorn Invasion Of Dundee, is an invitation filled with amazing riffs and a different approach from Bowels on keyboards that will make you forget he also plays in a pirate themed band.
Angus McFife is most likely a song about the hero in this story, and the main character of the album, it also describes you a bit of the story of the wizard and McFife. Now, this is the first time I was introduced to the voice of Thomas Winkler who also handles vocals for the swiss metal band Emerald, a great voice and powerful range that can compete with the big boys in the big leagues (Fabio Lione & Timo Kotipelto, watch out for Thomas Winkler). Quest For The Hammer Of Glory, is by far my favorite song of the album (Come on it has trolls on it). A really heavy bass guitar that carries that galloping rhythm that is just so headbanging-friendly.
Magic Dragon is a more keyboard based song filled with awesome guitar playing that works perfectly with lyrics about wizards, heroes, spells and dragons. Silent Tears Of Frozen Princess is more like a symphonic power ballad, really solemn that brings balance to the album, really nice song. Amulet of Justice, is one of the fastest songs in this album, really fierce and charged with eclectic force that will blow you away, totally traditional power metal at its finest. Hail To Crail, is another part of the puzzle that is the story of Fife, and a great song that carries a lot of Manowar influences on the music and vocals. Beneath Cowdenbeath, is an instrumental melodic attack that through the guitar riffs carries a lot of power on its playing, again another track that will totally blow your mind as the speed and epicness on it are just brutal.
Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife closes with a majestic 10 minute opus called The Epic Rage Of Furious Thunder, how else can you close an epic-action-packed album? If not with the longest song and most powerful song that Gloryhammer has created so far. Now yes this is a straight classic power metal album by a power metal band, so indeed it has cheesy lyrics, a lot of guitar riffs, and a heavy metal voice. So is not need to look further on why or why not Bowes decided to go epic metal with GloryHammer. It is a good concept, with a promising story that I hope it continues (not asking for a saga) but a steady storyline could be great. So if you love power metal in the vein of Rhapsody Of Fire, Kamelot, Manowar and awesomeness like that, pick up a copy of Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife, you won’t be disappointed.
1. Anstruther’s Dark Prophecy
2. The Unicorn Invasion Of Dundee
3. Angus McFife
4. Quest For The Hammer Of Glory
5. Magic Dragon
6. Silent Tears Of Frozen Princess
7. Amulet Of Justice
8. Hail To Crail
9. Beneath Cowdenbeath
10. The Epic Rage Of Furious Thunder
Genre: Power Metal
Record Label: Napalm Records
Playing Time: 47 minutes
Paul Templing – Guitars
James Cartwright – Bass
Christopher Bowes – Keyboards
Ben Turk – Drums