Review 1744 : Gloryhammer – Return to the Kingdom of Fife – English

Logo Gloryhammer

Gloryhammer resumes its conquest.

Created in Scotland in 2010 by Zargothrax, Dark Emperor of Dundee (keyboards, Alestorm, Wizardthrone), the band is completed by Ser Proletius, Grand Master of the Deathknights of Crail (guitar, Annwn), The Hootsman, Astral Demigod of Unst (bass) and Ralathor, the Mysterious Submarine Commander of Cowdenbeath (drums).

Following the departure of Angus McFife XIII, Crown Prince of Fife (vocals, Angus McSix) in 2021, the squad hires Angus McFife V (Eons Enthroned, Planeswalker, ex-Helion Prime) to work on Return to the Kingdom of Fife, its fourth album.

Incoming Transmission lets epic keyboards guide us into the band’s fantastical universe, which hits us full force with Holy Flaming Hammer of Unholy Cosmic Frost, a medieval-sounding composition serving as the basis for a solid rhythm section and motivating vocal parts. Sharp harmonics and the sorcerer’s threatening voice answer each other before Imperium Dundaxia continues the battle, in the company of dark, heavy tones and some powerful backing vocals. Once again, guitar plays an important role, with motivating solos contrasting with the more ethereal parts, which become more danceable on Wasteland Warrior Hoots Patrol, a solid catchy composition in honor of the bass player, who briefly appears to motivate the troops. Brothers of Crail, the next track, develops a relatively theatrical approach while occasionally letting the vocalist push his abilities on a heady instrumental, before the band returns to happier tones with Fife Eternal and its dancing keyboards. With its easily memorable chorus and accessible elements, the band keeps the simple approach which made it so popular, before inviting a female vocalist to lead us into the final, which leads into Sword Lord of the Goblin Horde, a slower track which mainly relies on its orchestrations to reveal itself. We will notice the vocalist only goes wild at the end of the track, before Vorpal Laserblaster of Pittenweem lets the musicians offer a frantic introduction, followed by an extremely effective rhythmic section and highly contrasting vocal parts. The track is again easy to listen to and reserves a niche for leads, then it will be followed by Keeper of the Celestial Flame of Abernethy, a fairly short, light but energetic track dedicated to the demonic keyboardist, then the album closes with the long Maleficus Geminus (Colossus Matrix 38B – Ultimate Invocation of the Binary Thaumaturge), a grandiose composition lasting over ten minutes, which takes us from majestic, disquieting tones to intense, heart-rending elements, or to this cinematic break followed by more raw, warlike riffs. 

The Gloryhammer flame burns as brightly as ever. The adventure is far from over for our five heroes, who with Return to the Kingdom of Fife deliver a performance in line with their previous productions, and which promises some fine moments of intensity.


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