REVIEW: GLORYHAMMER - LEGENDS FROM BEYOND THE GALACTIC TERRORVORTEX
Four years ago Scottish power metal band Gloryhammer released Space 1992: The Rise Of The Chaos Wizards, which introduced the majority of metal fans to what Alestorm lead singer and keyboardist Christopher Bowes does outside of that awesome crew of pirate degenerates he's become so well known for creating. They've come back thorough a space portal (Avengers: Endgame style!) with their third album Legends From Beyond The Galactic Terrorvortex. This new record continues the story of the hero and frontman Angus McFife with all of the members continuing their roles from the previous two albums (including Christopher Bowes as the evil wizard Zargothrax!).
Much like the last album, the new one begins with an instrumental opening track – Into The Terrorvortex Of Kor-Virliath. There is a brief voice-over at the very start of the record which sets the tone and the scene picks up right from the end of the final song of the earlier album. That then kicks straight into The Siege Of Dunkeld (In Hoots We Trust). It’s fast, electric and epic all at once, with McFife showcases his amazing vocal ability once again. Gloryhammer have established their own unique sound and it continues in the early stages of the new album, with plenty of keyboards and galactic sound effects. There is even a dialogue, for want of a better word, in this particular track between McFife and Zargothrax, showing the continuing narrative between the almost intergalactic pair of Modern Metal Demigods.
While the band definitely are squarely in the power metal camp and contain a lot of those power metal conventions, Gloryhammer haven’t really been known for their heavier side. That is until the following track, Masters Of The Galaxy, which begins with a crushing opening riff which sounds like it would come off a Devin Townsend album. The whole track shows a darker side of the band, giving the listener an inkling of how proceedings have become in the tale of McFife. It’s so hard to pick out the top tracks of this album when you look at the ridiculously epic names of each song, never mind the actual musical quality – The Land Of Unicorns and Legendary Enchanted Jetpack are just two which immediately spring to mind.
Much like Bowes’ other band, this record finally features a self-titled track for the band and there aren’t any prizes for guessing that one. Much like Masters Of The Galaxy, it's much more of a heavy, riffy song than previous Gloryhammer efforts and does an excellent job of summing up the overall vibe of this era of the band. The final song is an epic 12-minute masterpiece (something which seems like a tradition for the band now) titled The Fires Of Ancient Cosmic Destiny. If there was a good way to describe this song, it would be if 70s era Rush had a go at making power metal! The song is split up into five different parts as the sound and pace shifts between each one, bringing this chapter of the story of Angus McFife to a close in a fantastic way.
It's been a long wait for the third chapter of Angus McFife’s tale and it was well worth it. Gloryhammer have gotten so much stronger as band in recent years and Legends From Beyond The Galactic Terrorvortex has got to be their best record to date. Hopefully, the new album will take them to even greater heights than they've reached already.
ROCKODILE RATING: 8/10
Words by Tom Da Silva