METALIUM - Grounded (Chapter Eight)

Metalium - Grounded (Chapter Eight)

10 songs
47:55 minutes
***** ***


“We are heavy metal. If you don’t like it: fuck you!”. It’s probably impossible to state it any clearer as Metalium do on the programmatic opener Heavy Metal on their meanwhile eighth album Grounded (Chapter Eight) which comes one and a half year after their previous effort Incubus (Chapter Seven). Continuing their concept of sorts, you would expect much change from a band that’s been around for a good decade and which has such a regular release schedule as Metalium.

It would be asking too much to get a complete makeover, but the German power metal band has taken care to think over their approach and present themselves less polished and far more direct than they ever did in the past. The opener should already be reason enough to win over every last of the doubting faction, but also the remaining tracks more than have enough fire to underline that not every band starts to sound weary after such a long time in the game.

The ballad Borrowed Time is the only chance you will get to catch your breath, and frankly, the album could have done without this admittedly rather cheesy effort. Fortunately Metalium never slow down otherwise. Of course they still like to play around with pathos, as on Pharao’s Slavery, the CD’s longest track, but the overall image we get this time is one of a band that not only understands the spirit of true metal, but which is also able to deliver. Getting rid of backing vocals and choirs, Metalium are aiming for a hard hitting sound that may finally rid them of comparisons to Manowar by allowing them to establish their own, back-to-basics charm.

Grounded (Chapter Eight) may not be the most original metal album around, but its sincerity and its uncompromising execution make this one of the more enjoyable true power metal records I have come across in a long time.

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