GRIMGOTTS - Dragons Of The Ages

Grimgotts - Dragons Of The Ages

9 songs
48:50 minutes
***** ***


British power metal band Grimgotts is anything but lazy. Founded in 2015, they have released already two longplayers, three EPs and six singles, all of this without a record label. They started out as a parody metal band, labelling themselves "probably the best Harry Potter themed symphonic power metal band to come out of West Sussex... probably".

It’s hard to judge if the band is taking itself more seriously nowadays when listening to their current album Dragons Of The Ages. No cliché is left out on this album dealing with a war between dragons, sea monsters and humans. The band’s joy of playing is obvious. The keyboards have a dominating role and unleash a lot of high notes, making for an often amusing atmosphere. The vocal performance is also over the top, making you wonder how long the singer can strain his vocal cords like this. If you need to compare vocalist Andy Barton, just think of a young Michael Kiske (Helloween). Grimgotts quote Alestorm, Rhapsody and Edguy among their influences, but I also had to think of Freedom Call whose power metal also came with parodic elements.

Even if it seems as if I am making fun of how the band presents its songs, this doesn’t mean that they lack musical abilities. Despite all the kitsch and stereotypes, the songs are very melodic, incredibly catchy and surprise with fantastically arranged harmony lines. The rousing chorus of The Last Dragon Warriors is a guarantee for having a good time. There are also plenty of folk parts. The Long Road comes with an accordion part and seagull samples, giving it the air of a shanty. The album ends with the nearly nine-minute-long Here Be Dragonlords which feels like a musical audio drama. Theatrics is definitely a recurring element on this album.

If you consider Abba’s Mamma Mia as the greatest feel-good musical, then you may consider Dragons Of The Ages as THE feel-good power metal album. Of course you need at times strong nerves and some patience, but with a sense of humour and possibly some beers, your mind will become receptive for Grimgott’s music. I can imagine that their live shows are just as camp and zany and should be something one should experience before dying.

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