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Immortalized, the clock is working just fine! - 94%

SteveHNo96, December 6th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2018, Digital, Victor

In 2018, it's almost depressing that we still make assumptions about an album or a band based on their gender or country of origin. The first thing we're liable to hear is how Lovebites will draw comparisons to Babymetal or how it's going to be a J-pop act because they're all girls, ignoring other bands like Jenner, Nervosa or Burning Witches. My advice to these people is just to throw away any pre-conceived notions and listen to this album.

Clockwork Immortality is a love letter to two different partners at the same time. The first being that the album is reminiscent of but also builds on previous works of theirs, specifically the intensity and fury of Awakening From Abyss while powerfully conveying the message of self-reliance found in Battle Against Damnaton. The second love letter though are to artists from all over the world. There are heavy influences here from bands in power metal like Angra, Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica, Vandroya, Accept, and most notably, X Japan, but also thrashy goodness from bands like Amken and Warbringer. The work is not really copied, it's more notated like a graduate student holding on to a 4.0 GPA taking all the sources and making them their own and this is one thesis you can look back on in 5 years and realize how well it was done.

Let's delve more into this music. This album is very catchy and melodic yet showcases a beautiful dual-guitar mastery rarely found in albums released since 1990's Painkiller. Listening to tracks like Pledge of the Saviour or Mastermind 01 where Midori and Miyako shred out masterful keys alternating back and forth in true fashion, or Rising where Haruna is powerfully thundering the drums, or hearing Asami taking on the inspirational singer role talking about literally going to Hell on Journey to the Otherside or Miho's very crisp and sharp bass adding to the effect of songs like M.D.O. which is almost anthemic as a result reminds me of why I love power metal in general. It seems like no matter what song you pick, you're in for a major treat.

Many bands have what are referred to as the Sophomore slump, in that they make an absolutely double-barrel ass kicking balls out amazing first album then dial it back a bit on the second album. This is not one of those bands. Even on the relatively tamer song Empty Daydream, the song is catchy, addictive and upbeat with a chugging riff that you could see used as an anime opening. I could see it used to get anime kids into good metal, and good metal this album has.

I can't let this review go without mentoning a cheesy power ballad at the end, a seven minute beauty mark fittingly titled Epilogue which closes out the album fantastically, It's slow and haunting but it's also a gorgeous song that fits in perfect line with the concept of this album, to be honest, the entire album is a reminder of how great power metal was in the early 2000s with bands like Symphony X or Anubis Gate, as a result it sounds new and creative.

In conclusion, it's time to smash all expectations. This album isn't good "female metal", it's not a good "Babymetal clone", in fact, other than the country of origin and plans to take over the world of metal, the two bands share nothing in common at all, It's just a fantastic second full-length album from a band that has so much potential to be amazing and blow a hole ten light years wide in metal.

Your 2019 resolution should be to listen to this album, and then put it in heavy rotation.