Return to the Kingdom of Fife

Gloryhammer's power metal tour de force that winks at the genre while outdoing itself—and everyone else. Who'd have thought they'd leapfrog over 'Legends from Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex'? Yet here we are. It's as if they've taken the nonsensical heart of power metal, embraced it with a knowing smirk, and spun it into something almost avant-garde. The self-awareness is palpable, tipping the hat to the likes of Rhapsody but never becoming a mere echo.

And talk about a melodic uplift—these tunes are crafted with a precision that's both cheeky and earnest, synth orchestration blaring with purpose. The new guy on the mic? Reserved judgment turns to nodding approval as he carves his niche with surprising finesse.

Sure, I could do without the narrative asides—let the music speak, lads. But when it's this spirited, this deftly done, it's not just power metal escapism—it's a bright light in my too-often dreary catalog. More, please.

Read my review of “I/O”