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Unleash the runts - 39%

Andromeda_Unchained, October 5th, 2013

Victorius are a relatively new power metal act hailing from Germany, and their latest album - at the time of writing - The Awakening has been garnering some fairly good press. As such, I thought I’d go see what all the hubbub was about, although I’ve decided to take it from the start. Up for inspection today is their debut album Unleash The Titans.

You can instantly tell that Victorius is a young band, and the material here on Unleash The Titans has a distinct juvenile vibe to it. The production and vocals in particular prove this. The vocal lines are despondently uninspiring, and I guess in their approach remind me of Elvenking’s Damnagoras at his worst. In fact, some of the material kind of reminds me of a bare bones, third rate version of Wyrd minus the folk elements. Really though, if had to pick out some bands that Victorius remind me of here on Unleash The Titans, it would be straight up mix of Gamma Ray, Stratovarius, and Hammerfall.

I loathe coming off too hard, as I really appreciate how much time and effort it requires pulling off an album release. Fortuitously for Victorius their next album would be good, but bloody hell; if I’d heard this without having heard anything from their sophomore effort I wouldn’t have bothered checking it out. Unleash The Titans regrettably feels to me as though a bunch of youngsters have glossed over their copies of “Power Metal for Dummies”, strung together a couple of power chords, and thought to themselves “close enough!”

As I said before there is a certain juvenile feel to the material here on Unleash The Titans, and as I’ve touched on the vocals already, I want to address the music a little more. Tracks such as “Oblivion” or “Fly With Me” come across as overtly obvious in their utilization of tried and true conventions, with almost every change and every segment being predictable. It’s the kind of stuff you can see coming a mile off, and when a particularly flat refrain hits as in the aforementioned “Fly With Me”, I’m often left puzzled as to why I’m still listening to this. To be completely fair to Victorius though, some of the guitar riffs and melodies are decent, and you can tell they’re coming from a good place – they just aren’t performed all too well.

There’s nothing I’d really class as enjoyable here, although I wouldn’t say this is the absolute nadir of power metal. It’s kind of listenable as background music, and when David Baßin isn’t singing the album is almost fun. Honestly I can’t stress how bad the vocal lines are, and for the most part his performance too. It’s insane how much he stepped up his game on the next one. All in all, I find it hard to recommend this one. For genre completionists at best, avoid.

Originally written for http://blackwindmetal.com