METALIUM


"Incubus: Chapter Seven" (Crash; 2008)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

This CD is my first full experience with Metalium.  I have heard cuts (on Rough Edge Radio), but this is the first CD form the band that I am going to review (so far, I might add).  

This music is real, pure heavy metal. I identified with this CD right from the start; my metal radar started hopping and I knew I was in the presence of a real metal power. I know that each of the bands releases are "Chapters" and I hear from my editor and friend R. Scott Bolton that each release is as good as this one. 

Where has this band been all my life?! Well, I consider myself lucky to have discovered them. Now, I'll have to go out and buy all their earlier releases just to catch up.  

Metaliumís "Incubus-Chapter Seven" is a true metal masterpiece and I am going to hit my iPod right now and check this bad boy out again.

For more information, check out http://www.metalium.de.


"Nothing to Undo: Chapter Six" (Crash; 2007)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

German power metal moguls Metalium stay true to their name by delivering a multitude of metallic firepower on "Nothing to Undo: Chapter Six." 

This 10-track affair is an unrepentant and meaty metal release from the driving drums and thunderous bass to the majestic guitars and enchanting spoken word interludes strewn throughout. There's even an amped-up version of the Queen classic "Show Must Go On" that is rather effective in tying up all the loose ends here. 

In short, if you dig epic metal with a flare for drama, the ongoing saga portrayed by Metalium is a surefire collection to get your rocks off to. 

For more information, check out http://www.metalium.de.


"Demons of Insanity: Chapter Five" (Crash; 2005)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Metalium's latest offering is the fifth installment of the German band's storyline driven albums, as "Demons of Insanity" contains fourteen tracks of standard power metal flare. Armed with the kind of righteous guitar playing that you'd expect from songs entitled "Atrocity" and "Endless Believer," this disc isn't a must-have offering although it follows the formula well enough to appease fans of the genre in addition to perpetuating the epic storytelling. 

If you dig the power metal sound and can cut through some of the excess cheese, "Demons of Insanity" is a worthy purchase. 

For more information, check out http://www.metalium.de.


"As One: Chapter Four" (Century Media; 2004)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Metalium's "As One" is - as the full title indicates - the fourth chapter in a rather long-running series of concept albums. However, don't be concerned that you'll be lost in the story if you haven't heard the first few chapters - "As One" rocks along quite well in a world all its own.

Starting with a science-fiction-y spoken word opening, "As One" explodes from that point on with a frenzied power metal fury that never lets up. Most of the songs have a speedy, power metal pace that brings to mind the tempos of bands like Helloween and Stratovarius while the vocals are a unique and effective cross between Maiden's Bruce Dickinson and Paul Stanley of KISS.

Interestingly, despite the fact that it's been five years since the band's "Millennium Metal" was released, Metalium's theme hasn't changed much. The liner notes make that clear: "A loud 'hail' goes out to all Metalians around the globe who are also fighting and supporting our battle of metal! Stay metal and never surrender!" Hey, there are worse things to fight for than the love of rock'n'roll.

Although the band's overall theme may not have changed too much, their sound has certainly grown. "As One" is a tight, adroitly written CD. The musicianship is top notch, the production perfectly balanced and the songwriting more mature. If there's any complaint, it's that many of the songs here sound similar - those looking for a lot of variety should probably look elsewhere.

Perhaps most noteworthy is the slower-paced mini-epic "Illuminated," with its running time of over 12 minutes and the great guest spot by Deep Purple's Don Airey. "Illuminated" is a concept all of its own and it gives the CD a great center from which to lead into and away from.

The CD also features video of the band's performance from the Wacken Open Air Festival 2003, studio shots, screensavers and computer wallpapers.

Metalium: Henning Basse - vocals; Matthias Lange - guitar; Lars Ratz - bass; Michael Ehre - drums. Guest appearances include Don Airey - keyboards and Moog; Stefan Schlabritz - voices of the Metal God; Saeko Kitamae - voice of the Metaliana.

For more information, check out http://www.metalium.de.


"Millennium Metal: Chapter One" (Pavement; 1999)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Metalium is yet another power metal band from fertile musical grounds of Germany. "Millennium Metal" is a solid effort of traditional power metal with an obvious nod to Gamma Ray and Primal Fear, but with its roots solidly in traditional power metal. 

"Millennium Metal" is a concept album - a call to arms, if you will, for the metal masses to support the cause of traditional heavy metal. This presents a paradox as it seems to call for more support, yet it still wishes to stay underground; you can come to the party, but just don't bring your friends. 

Most of the songs here are well above average, but "Break The Spell," "Free Forever," "Strike Down The Heathen," and "Metalians" really stand out. The consistency in the songs reminds me of how much I loved albums from the first track to the last track back in the '80s when I was discovering bands like Iron Maiden. 

I'm actually quite annoyed by the number of metal bands that are adding covers to their discs. Metalium are the latest to jump on this bandwagon with their cover of Deep Purple's "Smoke On The Water." The only redeeming factor about this cover is the breakdown riffing at the end of the song which actually adds some quality to the cover rather than detract from it. 

The disc ends with another cover song - "Burning", originally composed and performed by Accept, is a perfect ending to a solid disc.  This cover is a fitting a tribute to the last twenty years as today's resurgence in metal shares more in common with 1981 Accept than 1972 Deep Purple.

The vocals are sure to impress - the vocals remind me of what Bruce Dickinson would sound like if he'd lived his whole life in Germany. The guitars are like buzz-saws throughout the entire disc. Each track has laser-precision riffing and solos to match. 

"Millennium Metal Chapter One" was produced by Lars Ratz and co-produced by Chris Caffery. Mixing was performed by Ratz and J.P. Genkel.  Mastering was performed by Alexander Krull. The production is very good. The drums are busy, yet not too overpowering. The guitars and bass are clear - the keyboards add a nice even touch to the overall presentation. 

Metalium is Henning Basse on vocals, Matthias Lange on guitars, Chris Caffery on guitars (Caffery's main band is Savatage), Lars Ratz on bass (Ratz has worked with UDO and Velvet Viper), and Mike Terrana on drums (ex-Yngwie J. Malmsteen). Keyboards played by Ferdy Doernberg and J.P. Genkel. 

For more information visit http://www.metalium.de/ and see for yourself the shape of power metal for the future. 


Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Revised: 15 Mar 2017 23:33:43 -0500.