Album review: GLORYFUL – The Warrior’s Code

Massacre Records – Out Now.

Making a name for oneself in the music industry has always been an uphill battle and, with recession and slow economic climate still affecting many, the prospects for any of the old continent’s young bands of making a living from music must look bleaker than ever. This, however, has not deterred bands like the German Heavy/Power Metal quintet Gloryful from striving.

Three years after first forming, the band can claim a number of successes, such as opening for many prestigious Metal acts and acquiring the services and support of Dan Swano (Edge Of Sanity). Taking full advantage of the experiences they have gained, these five lads have brought forth their first studio album, entitled “The Warrior’s Code”.

Gloryful is one of those bands which wears both its heart and influences on its sleeve so it is really not difficult to detect where the inspiration for “The Warrior’s Code” was drawn from. As is typical for most young Teutonic outfits, the speed and power that characterise the majority of the eleven compositions borrow elements from fellow-countrymen Helloween and, to a certain extent, Accept.

By adding to that a strong tendency towards melodic expression, especially as far as the guitars are concerned, akin to that of classic bands like Dio and Iron Maiden, the result is an album with fast solid riffs and catchy melodic interludes/choruses that should keep most fans of classic sounding Heavy/Power Metal pretty content.

Following the short orchestral/epic intro “The Riddle Of Steel” the album kicks off with the four minute, Primal Fear influenced “Gloryful Tale” – a pleasant but somewhat predictable track. Much more commanding and containing an imposing early 80s Vivian Campell (Dio, Def Leppard) influenced riff, “Heavy Metal – More Than Meets The Eye” is the kind of Metal anthem that bands stopped producing since Running Wild released “Blazon Stone” back in 1991.

Songs like “The Warrior’s Code”, “Breaking Destiny” & “Evil Oath” are the result of pure Maiden worship, especially as far as lead guitars are concerned, while the more ballad-y “Chased In Fate” offers Johnny La Bomba the ability to use his deep powerful pipes to the max.

Though the album never again reaches a really high moment, tracks like the Accept-influenced “Far Beyond Time” and  the Helloween-inspired “Fist Of Steel” are pretty decent tunes , leaving the somewhat incoherent “Sedna’s Revenge” and the fast-paced “Death Of The First Earth” to round off this slightly predictable but fairly enjoyable release.

Thinking about it objectively, Gloryful do not seems to be offering us anything new and, at times, do sound like they are copying their heroes, but there is enough skill and passion in this album to warrant a more promising evaluation.

“The Warrior’s Code” is the kind of album that celebrates all things Classic Metal and, as such, should appeal to those of you who, at one time or another, had a Judas Priest, Iron Maiden or Accept poster adorning your bedroom wall!

John Stefanis

Rating: ***1/2 (3.5/5.0)

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