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General Hansen of the Army of the Immortals - 95%

TrooperEd, November 27th, 2016

The finest classic metal accomplishment of the 90’s. The lineup of Hansen/Zimmerman/Richter/Schlachter has had a year to gel and what a difference! No interlude tracks, and while it does suffer from maybe one track too many, 9 of the 11 tracks here are classics, loud and proud to be carrying on the tradition of metal the way it was meant to be played: shredding solos, screaming octave ranges and drum fills galore. The album starts off with Kai quietly singing and strumming on his guitar. While most bands (notably Metallica) do this to lure the listener into a false sense of security, you know something big is coming....wait for it...wait for it....I’M RUNNING HOOOOOOOOOOOOO BAM! Anywhere In The Galaxy you on a roller coaster ride that does not end until the soft closing moments of Armageddon, which also closes with a rather harsh lyric as well. It was absolutely disgusting how the metal press completely ignored the power metal movement of the 90’s in favor of wigger mannerisms and sterile grooves. They claimed they were sick of the metal formula, which is the biggest crock of shit since if they were sick of the metal formula after a generation, they would have been sick of it in 1979 and never given rise to the NWOBHM, nor Priest, nor Manowar, nor Ozzy’s solo career, nor any of the other bands that kept the rock & roll formulas of Kiss, Rush, Purple, Sabbath, etc. going.

So many great moments of this album, from the phased intro of Razorblade Sigh to its later guitar solo that kicks out of one of the finest thrash breaks ever, the singalong fun (yea that’s right, fun, you know that thing metal is supposed to be about before Jonathon Davis convinced you it was uncool) of Send Me A Sign and Heavy Metal Universe, the brilliantly metalized cover of It’s A Sin, the thrash metal destruction of Strangers In The Night (which kind of lifts the Metal Meltdow...errrrr 7th Day of July 1777 riff), the closing number of Armageddon, a fantastic epic that both Keeper albums wish it had. There's even a Youthanasia worship moment in Short As Hell from out of left field pulled off flawlessly! Wings of Destiny, while a bit on the cheesy side, shows how perfectly the deadly foursome of Kai, Henjo, Dirk and Dan have locked into each other. The song switches sick 4/4 rhythms and grooves on a dime, and only the most skilled of musicians can pull that off. blah blah blah what Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Dio etc. etc. should have been putting out in the 90s rather than trying to "get with the times." When is everyone going to realize that "getting with the times" is going to ultimately end up dating it to a time period? At least date it to a time period when metal ruled. Out of all most so called "90's power metal" this is likely the one Maiden and Priest fans will be the most welcoming too as opposed to the multilayered choruses and off the wall upper neck licks of Blind Guardian. Mind you there's nothing wrong with those one iota, but the idiotic phrase, "too European" gets thrown around when it comes to most power metal. Bitch, metal in general is European, and don't you VH1 brainwashed drones ever forget that! This is the album where Gamma Ray became immortal. This is also an album no self-respecting fan of the classics should be without.

Recommended Songs:

Razorblade Sigh
Anywhere In The Galaxy
Armageddon