A heroic journey: Gloryhammer’s Legends From Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex

A+heroic+journey%3A+Gloryhammer%E2%80%99s+Legends+From+Beyond+the+Galactic+Terrorvortex

ROBERT ZEMBRZYCKI

Alice Shao, Staff writer

Symphonic power metal band, GLORYHAMMER’s third full-length offering “Legends From Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex” melds theatrical song with epic fantasy to bring to life the momentous struggle between hero Angus McFife XIII and the evil wizard Zargothrax.

The album is the latest installment in a series that tells the spectacular legend of Angus McFife, the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Fife. In the previous album, Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards, Angus and his allies battled the dark forces of Zargothrax in an interstellar war that ended with Earth destroyed and both Angus McFife and Zargothrax drawn into a wormhole. The story of Legends From Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex picks up as Angus McFife arrives into an alternate past where Zargothrax reigns supreme over the Kingdom of Fife.

GLORYHAMMER takes their characteristic power metal sound to new heights in this album with soaring, operatic vocals, DragonForce-esque guitar solos, enchanting keyboards, and cinematic orchestral synths. The album opens with a symphonic intro track that calls to mind the intense music of Star Wars before it jumps into the galloping guitar of “The Siege of Dunkeld (In Hoots We Trust).” This track features powerful guitar solos, sinister Latin chanting, and a dramatic spoken word interlude in which Zargothrax overpowers Angus – an interlude which sounds like a scene from some heavy metal musical.

The album continues with the gleefully evil “Masters of the Galaxy,” a track that features a chorus too catchy for its status as the theme song of the villain Ser Proletius, and the uplifting “The Land of Unicorns” with its enchanting keyboard solo. GLORYHAMMER’s skillful songwriting is further on display in the melodic guitar-and-keyboard duets of “Power of the Laser Dragon Fire” and the regal brass fanfares of “Legendary Enchanted Jetpack” as well as their awesome taste in song titles.

Both “Gloryhammer” and “Hootsforce” are epic, energetic anthems with simple but effective riffs and sing-along choruses. The energy then drops in level with the synth-heavy “Battle for Eternity,” a song which is slightly too melancholic for a penultimate track. However, the final song, “The Fires of Ancient Cosmic Destiny,” is a masterpiece with cinematic storytelling, powerful symphonic elements, and multiple masterful guitar and keyboard solos. The story is drawn to a close as Angus McFife defeats Zargothrax, but a cryptic encoded message at the end suggests that there is more to come in a future album.

Although there were a few points which could have been improved, such as the mixing in “Power of the Laser Dragon Fire” which buried the guitars, the clash between the epic lyrics and melancholic music of “Battle for Eternity,” and the simplicity of the rhythm guitar, “Legends From Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex is a spectacular album. The symphonic elements were effective, the choruses catchy, and the solos a wonder to behold. GLORYHAMMER’s latest album scores an A-.