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An Inconsistent Exercise in Power Metal - 68%

IronDreamer, September 14th, 2006

As much as I love D.C. Cooper's soaring voice, this album does not always do justice to his abilities. There are some very nice little nuggets of Priest worshipping power metal, like the title track, and the excellent, powerful Gladiator Trilogy. The Trilogy is certainly the high point of the album, and just as good as anything on their debut. The catchy melodies and soaring choruses show what good power metal can sound like. The excellent performances really show through on good material like this. Unfortunately, there's not enough of it on this album.

Of course the cover of "All Guns Blazing" only confirms what we already knew about Silent Force. It's a competent cover, and a nice view of what Priest might have sounded like with D.C. instead of the Ripper; but it's mostly pointless, as are 99% of Priest covers (Death's cover of "Painkiller" notwithstanding). Also, the ballad "In Your Arms" is pretty acceptable, and a good use of Cooper's range.

However, the album is also peppered with garden-variety power metal songs like "Promised Land" and "Last Time," to name a few. These songs have few, if any, redeeming qualities; and while they are well performed, the lack of creativity and just overall dullness of these songs robs the album of momentum.

Drop the pointless cover, and a few other dull songs, and you're left with shy of 40 minutes of solid material. Acceptable back in the old days, but unfortunately, today bands feel compelled to use as much of the avaliable time on a CD as possible, and as a result, we get a lot of albums like this, with a much higher concentration of filler than they should have had.