Album review: GLORYHAMMER – Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife

Gloryhammer

Napalm Records

This is a new project from Christopher Bowes, who can normally be seen in pirate metal band Alestorm. He has recruited vocalist Thomas Winkler (Emerald) to give those classic high pitched power metal vocals.

The story is set in the Kingdom of Fife and features a hero, the aptly names Angus McFife, waging a war against the evil Zargothrax. Cracking Dungeons and Dragons stuff and the music is suitably epic and overblown, like Manowar in their prime.

Having relatives in Fife, and visited there many times, the song titles do make me chuckle, none more so than the immense power metal beast that is ‘Hail To Crail’. The Crail in question is a tiny and picturesque fishing village near Ansthruther, which gets a name check in the album’s opening instrumental piece.  Mind you as song titles go ‘The Unicorn Invasion of Dundee’ will take some beating!

The music is massively overblown as you’d expect with keyboard horns, choral parts and a few guitar solos, although strangely not as many as I was expecting. The keyboards take a big role in the music as you’d expect with Christopher Bowes being the keys player in Alestorm.

Check out ‘Beneath Cowndenbeath’ for some classic keys versus guitar interplay. Plus we have an epic in ‘The Epic Rage of Furious Thunder’, which has all you’d want and expect from choral parts through to spoken word passages and a some damn fine singing from Thomas Winkler, who I am sure will be seen on many more albums in the future as he is only in his mid-twenties.

You will either think this album is a load of old cobblers or love it like I do. Highly recommended for fans of Manowar, the two versions of Rhapsody and Freedom Call.  To the Kingdom of Fife we ride!  ****

Jason Ritchie


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