Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

German power metal done just a little different - 80%

Agonymph, December 4th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2004, CD, Armageddon Music (Digipak, Enhanced)

On the surface, Metalium is another typical German power metal band. They have the rolling double bass drums, the uptempo songs and the anthemic choruses. They have a couple of assets that set them apart from that saturated field though. One of them is the excellent singer Henning Basse, but they also often leaned a bit toward the more aggressive American side of the genre. And while many of their albums have been plagued by consistency or production issues – or both – they have released a couple of excellent records, the fourth chapter in their ongoing saga – ‘As One’ – likely being the strongest.

Sonically, ‘As One’ is a major improvement over its predecessor ‘Hero Nation’, which was almost unlistenably poorly produced. Both the rhythm guitars and the drums have a nice punch here, but the band also seems to have learned a lesson or two about songwriting in the two years between the records. While the songs are still relatively simple in structure, the attention span is significantly increased by slight adaptions to the tension build-up. For instance, ‘Illuminated’, the doom metal song they spent the rest of their career trying to outdo, is over twelve minutes with its prologue and epilogue, but manages to stay interesting.

As many bands in their genre, however, Metalium’s strength is in their uptempo material. Especially the opening salvo of the borderline thrasher ‘Warrior’ and the highly dynamic ‘Pain Crawls In The Night’ is an excellent representation of the skills of both drummer Michael Ehré and guitarist Matthias Lange, who never gets too flashy, but does have his share of strong leads. Ehré goes nuts in ‘Goddess Of Love And Pain’, one of the album’s highlights in its pleasantly chaotic unpredictability. ‘No One Will Save You’ and its hardrock-infused eighties Euro metal vibe is another high water mark.

Less successful are the dull midtempo plodder ‘Find Out’ and the title track, which is ruined by a godawfully annoying chorus that happens to return too many times throughout the song. However, Basse’s spirited performance almost manages to save even those songs; while he had yet to find the powerful grit that he has these days, it’s more than obvious that we’re dealing with more than just anonymous power metal singer number umpteen here. It feels like he’s pushing towards the edge of his range at some points, but never does he go overboard and he nails every note.

Many fans seem to think that every Metalium album is a little less good than the one that came before. And although the debut is a thoroughly enjoyable power metal effort, the band reaches its apex compositionally and productionally with ‘As One’ and its following chapter ‘Demons Of Insanity’, which has slightly better highlights, but also a few more skipworthy moments. This may be textbook power metal, but at least more thought went into it than the mindless Priest-aping that many turn of the century German power metal bands resorted to. This is heer power metal euphoria, plain and simple.

Recommended tracks: ‘Goddess Of Love And Pain’, ‘Pain Crawls In The Night’, ‘Warrior’

Originally written for my Kevy Metal weblog

As One - Chapter IV - 100%

Bruno, June 2nd, 2004

I just wanted to say that this is in my opinion the best Metalium album so far! All you have ever wanted to listen from this guys are on this album! I feel that this album will be the most sucessful one on the Metalium career. If that not happen, something quite wrong is happening to the metal scene! If you want to listen to PURE METAL buy this album asap! Henning has on As One his best performance and is one of the best metal singers in the world by far. Matthias has his best performance on a Metalium album, his guitar spits killer riffs all the f***ing time. And Lars, what do I have to say about this guy! His bass lines are scaring! He is a fantastic musician, composer and producer! And the ones who listened Michael on Hero Nation will not recognize him on As One at all! That guy really can play some drums man! So I would like to thank the band for releasing a perfect album which brings much more than I was expecting to!

All I have to say about the opening is that just after 'Astral Avatar' I'm able to listen to one of the most killer songs I have ever heard!
The band performance on 'Warrior' is jaw-dropping! Henning's voice on it is great, his screams are breath-taking! The refrain is amazing! The beginning is pretty similar to Fight! When I heard it for the first time, before Henning started singing, I was about to sing: 'Dream of a nation, blasted by war.", when I remembered it was another song uhaha The song is about the snake-haired Medusa.

'Pain Crawles in the Night's' vocal lines were extremily well composed. But listening to the whole song I must say that it is really wonderful! Matthias' riff on it is holy great! I can't stop banging my head! It even deserved a video of it as an interactive track in the cd. The song is about Pandora.

'Find Out' has Mr. Lars Ratz making his bass roar! The melody of his bass on the intro of this song is beautiful! Very well written and very well played! The japanese metal singer Saeko sings on this song, in her appearance on the album! Her voice is not that kind of female voice we are used to hear. She is pretty aggressive! The song is a variation between Henning as the Metalian and Saeko as the Metaliana. In the middle of it has a kind of progressive stuff, very cool! I especially liked Michael's performance! Especially the way he plays his drums using the cymbals in the slow moments! Lars has found a perfect sound for it!

Now 'No One Will Save You'! It's a fantastic song and I was looking forward to listening to it especially because we had a video of Henning singing its refrain. Matthias' guitar spits nice riffs on this song. In fact you'll see that throughout the album there are riffs and riffs and more riffs and riffs. Matthias had a very good job! What I liked the most on this song were the bridge and the refrain! They are great! They don't get out of your mind easily! The song is about the nine-headed snake Hydra.

'Meaning of Light' is an instrumetal track that acts as an intro to the next song! The ones who like that opera stuff (I'm one of them!) will like the keyboards. They give an epic feeling to it!

Now the song everybody is expecting: 'Illuminated'! The beginning of it is a very nice riff of Matthias and Lars' bass has a very important role on it! You can hear cleary the Monster-bass roaring powerfully behind the other instruments. All the fans who like 'Odin's Spell' and 'State of Triumph' from the previous Metalium albuns will especially like this song! It has the same feeling, you know what I mean? Henning performance on it is a bit different from the other stuff I have heard from him but on the other hand is worthy of applause, powerful and full of feeling! I especially liked the bridge and the refrain, where Henning shows us what he can do! Once again the middle of the song has a kind of progressive stuff played by the keyboards and the narration thing appears too! I can already imagine the audience screaming their lungs out during the concerts: ILLUMINATED!

'Meaning of Light (Reprise)' has an interesting thing. The song 'Illuminated' doesn't finish on the song 'Illuminated' (got it?). The same song continues on 'Meaning of Light (Reprise)' with Henning singing the same stuff and the band playing the same thing. So you can just consider 'Meaning of Light', 'Illuminated' and 'Meaning of Light (Reprise)' the same song. That's what I think.
Now 'Athena' time has come! Since the samples I knew 'Athena' would be one of my favourite As One songs! Man, the beginning of this song is HEAVY! uhahaha Matthias and Michael kick some major asses on the beginning of it! What does the song have of special for me? Its refrain! Man, Henning kicks ass on it! The ones who like the opera stuff will like his performance on the refrain! Do you remember his opera-like voice on the song 'Odyssey' from the previous album? "He curse into the sky!"
"What's this evil spell!" So, that's what he does on the refrain! In fact Henning rules at all on this song! This song is killer! The song is about the goodness Athena.

'Power Strikes the Earth' is a pretty nice and cool song! In the beginning of it there's a whisper of Saeko and a short narration of that guy who I don't remember the name now, and he appears once again in the middle of the track. In fact I find this song the most melodic so far. The other songs have that heavy metal stuff full of energy. 'Power Strikes the Earth' is fast, but more melodic than heavy, got it? For example, after the narration in the middle of the song, Matthias' solo has a quite happy melody. Maybe it makes me remember all that melodic thing from State Of Triumph. Such a nice song, but the most different from the others so far!

After 'Power Strikes the Earth' we are back to the heaviness and aggressiveness! 'Goodness of Love and Pain' begins with a short solo by Lars(!)! Then Michael shows us that, just like Lars, he can kick some asses too! uhaha But don't worry, all this display of technic does make sense. The thing that surprised me the most on this song was the anger in Henning's voice! Maybe not on the refrain (which is very nice by the way!) but on the verses you can feel the hate in his vocal lines! And the Metalian choir behind helps that aggressiveness to take us through the neck too! In the end of this track Henning's opera-like voice appears once again behind his screams with his "normal" voice! For sure 'Goodness of Love and Pain' will be one of the favourite songs of the fans! You all will see that Saeko's voice as narrations on the ends and beginnings of the songs are used pretty similar to the ones on State Of Triumph! The song is about the goodness Afrodite.

The last song of the album 'As One' begins with perfect riffs by Matthias! Man, this album finishes its tracks in such a magnificent way, with the perfect song! The refrain will stay in your mind during the whole week! uhaha You feel proud of being a Metalian when listening to this song! It's beautiful! Henning performance on this song, especially because of the lyrics, is heart-breaking! And it couldn't be different! I just feel that it will be pretty hard to him to sing this song live, because there are vocal lines on vocal lines! But it doesn't matter as the song is recorded for the eternity! The song is great, jaw-dropping, has the perfect atmosphere and it's epic! You feel that you are saying goodbye to something you had kept in touch with for a long time! The lyrics has titles of many songs of the Metalium career! It's one of the most heart-touching songs Metalium has ever composed in my opinion.

The European version of the album still brings as bonus track a great song called 'Screaming in the Darkness' which is about a famous female vampire.

And, please, be ready when the song seems to finish. I was not prepared to that, so my heart almost stopped! I'm serious man, I almost died when the speakers roared when I thought everything had already finished.