Metalium

Demons of Insanity: Chapter Five

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If you're seriously into power metal, there is more good news than bad news in the 21st century. The bad news is that power metal reached its commercial and creative peak back in the Ronald Reagan years. The good news is that thanks to the power metal revival movement (which has been dominated by Western Europe), a lot of decent power metal bands were formed in the '90s and 2000s -- younger bands that rejected post-'80s developments in metal and remained faithful to the classic power metal sounds of the '70s and '80s. One of those power metal revival bands from Western Europe (Germany, to be exact) is Metalium, whose fifth album, Demons of Insanity: Chapter Five, was recorded in 2004 and 2005 but sounds like it could have been recorded 20 or 25 years earlier. There isn't a trace of alternative metal, rap-metal, death metal/black metal, or metalcore to be found on this CD; Metalium is a '90s/2000s band with a '70s/'80s sound -- and stylistically, the bandmembers' allegiance is to the old-school sounds of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Queensr├┐che, Savatage, and Ronnie James Dio. Lead singer Henning Basse, in fact, loves to hit the high notes in an overtly Rob Halford-ish fashion. No one will accuse Metalium of being the most original or groundbreaking group in the world, but the bandmembers are good at what they do -- and like the old-school power metallers who have influenced them, Metalium are as melodic as they are forceful. For all their balls-to-the-wall aggression, the German headbangers are highly musical -- this album is not an exercise in brute force for the sake of brute force. Demons of Insanity: Chapter Five falls short of remarkable, but it's a likable, if less than distinctive, example of what the power metal revival scene has to offer in Western Europe.

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