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Metalium - Grounded - Chapter Eight - 65%

ThrashManiacAYD, October 16th, 2009

I have been feeling shit the last couple of days. Now this could've been ‘cos I'm still suffering greatly from a broken foot; the boredom of not being able to walk or drive anywhere; needing a job (and money); or the book I have been reading detailing soldier's accounts of the horror and bloodshed of the World War I trenches. But then I realised not half an hour ago upon playing a great song from a promising band (who shall remain nameless) that it was the thought of having to listen to, and review, some middle-of-the-road metal albums I have in my queue that has been causing my light headedness and general ill-health. Let's get this over with.

Even as German bands, German heavy/power metal bands for that matter, go, Metalium are metal. Christ, the first track on this, album number eight, is called "Heavy Metal" and begins with the not-so-subtle refrain of "We are Heavy Metal/ If you don't like it, Fuck You!". It's all enough to rival Manowar's classic "If you're not into Metal, you are not my friend!". Really, anyone who has any interest in this particular aforementioned field of the metal landscape will already be pretty clued up on how Metalium sound. To the band's credit though lets add this; they are better than the majority I've heard. Even by the end of song four out of ten, "Pharos Slavery", one of the best tracks on the record, I have heard greater variation in riff and tempo than across the entirety of countless other (German) heavy metal albums. Referencing all the usual suspects en route, Lion's Share come to mind the greatest, Metalium play metal so pure in spirit you can almost hear the leather trousers squeak and shuffle as headbangers like "Crossroad Overload" are dished out, guaranteed as they are to ensure the smooth downing of beers across German gig and festival venues the year round.

Given the variations in moods and speeds found across the album, Metalium have at least earned some praise towards "Grounded – Chapter Eight", however there is a line with how far a band should mix up the tempo when the result can be a distinctly Bon Jovi-esque "Borrowed Time", being far too soppy and slow for a band who clearly pride themselves on their metal pedigree. When the accelerator is pushed however Metalium can at least pen a tune that will go down a treat on the summer festival circuit; "Pay The Fee" and "Once Loyal" being effectively rousing up-tempo speed metal numbers that while hardly unique do retain a sense of purpose to their direction. Through either blind luck or careful song construction (I'm inclined to side with the former) Metalium have got the chips on their side as "Grounded" comes out featuring just enough identity to favour strongly against some horribly uninspired and dull competition; this isn't a classic but it's saying something when this is better than 90% of the heavy/power metal field with a...

Originally written for Rockfreaks.net