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Razor edged power metal forged in fire is that which you will find on ‘Demons Of Insanity’, the fifth studio offering from Metalium, one of Germany’s better power metal ensembles. This record contains all of the crucial aspects that make this type of music so compelling, from the astute vocal performance of Henning Basse to the shredding axe handling of Matthias Lange.
Backed by a powerful rhythm tandem in bassist Lars Ratz and drummer Michael Ehre, this combination offers up power metal at its finest on thrashing cuts like “Power Of Time” and “Demons Of Insanity”. An adept sense of melody fills the spaces in ‘Cyber Horizon’, which features excellent fret work on the part of Lange that takes the piece to an entirely new level. Esteemed keyboardist Don Airey joins the band with accents that push the sound of the band even further, if that is possible.
The low tones which usher in the classic heavy metal vibes of “Endless Believer” rumble with forcefulness. These stark rumblings give way to a melodic verse that is filled with electricity. This mid-tempo track showcases Basse’s vocal talents as he shows an impressive amount of range and control. “Destiny” features a crunching riff and some timely accents from Airey that make the track sound positively huge!
Metalium is clearly influenced by the progressive metal acts of the 1980’s, their epic, ringing chords and dramatic arrangements bringing bands like Dokken to mind. Yet, Basse has an original sounding voice which assists in making Metalium sound like no other, causing that all-important chemistry that allows certain artists to rise above the competition.
...and now it's time for Metalium to move on. Across 5 albums released by this German power metal outfit, they have written some truly great songs, and touched upon some fairly interesting ideas (IMO Chapter Three and this one are tied for best concept).
However. This album, upon reflection, is a little unnecessary. In the same way as Rhapsody, Metalium have taken one concept to it's natural peak, and now the big question is whether or not they will try and squeeze one more album (please god no) from this idea.
Anyway, back to the album in question.
The album couldn't begin any less promisingly. For fuck's sake. Metalium, if you are reading this, which you should be: GET A NEW NARRATOR! I mean what the fuck??? "Now, humans, are killing their OWWn Speeshy Ezz"
Power Of Time, following the trend of all previous metalium albums, is the strongest single song on the album. Yadda yadda.
Demons Of Insanity is the "Break the spell" of this album. Catchy and with a great chorus; good stuff.
And it goes on. There really is no point going through the rest of the songs because, if like me you own all the previous albums, they will all be familiar to you. I respect the fact that Metalium have tackled such a 'big' and 'real' issue with this album, full credit to em, but the songs are generally too samey.
Metalium's first album was the fastest selling metal album of 1999. If they are to build on this success, they're going to have to try something different in future.
If you're interested in Metalium, you only really need one, or maybe two albums. This, and the first, are IMO tied for best. I got all their albums because I saw them play at Bloodstock 05 and was hooked on their catchy songs, excellent performance and great synergy. There is no doubt in my mind that Metalium have the POTENTIAL to be one of THE big metal outfits in the world today; whether they will capitalise on this potential remains to be seen.
Pro's: Great, catchy and heavy music. Interesting concept.
Con's: Too similar to earlier works. Awful narration.