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Nice fucking power metal - 77%

UltraBoris, August 21st, 2002

This is probably the only 80s power metal album that can compare with Jag Panzer's "Ample Destruction". The technical similarity isn't overwhelming, as this album is much thrashier, but the general feel is just about the same. Screaming vocalist giving 110 per cent effort, great riff construction, and memorable solos.

We start with the opener, "Hawk the Slayer", with a little spoken intro, and then we get right into thrashing... there are a few really cool tempo changes in this song, especially before the chorus, and then during the main solo. There's actually an extra solo at the end, in gratuitous "Painkiller" fashion, but it works well.

Other highlights include "Creeper", which is just so completely over the top in its vocal approach - almost grating if you don't like shriekers, but nonetheless a well-executed song. The title track, "Flight of the Griffin" is quite interesting, as it starts off slow, and then has a very nice middle section with a really great guitar solo that comes out of nowhere. It's mixed in pretty loud compared to the other instruments, which is definitely a feature of the production here - if they want you to notice something (a lot of the time, the vocals) they will make it stand out very overtly.

"Fire in the Sky" has some great riffs, as does "Judgement Day", but it is the album closer that is really the best song on here. That one also starts off slowly, but then out of nowhere they throw in an Overkill styled mosh riff, and also a guitar solo that's total Deep Purple "Highway Star" worship. Lots of stuff crammed into not much time here, which kind of is the theme for the whole album - very abrupt time changes come out of nowhere, riffs that just grab you by the throat, smash your face in, and then are gone without even bothering to wipe up the blood.

Yes, completely over the top, but it all works brilliantly.