Gloryhammer - Tales from the Kingdom of Fife
Scotland isn’t a place one associates with Epic Power Metal. Christopher Bowes, vocalist and keyboardist for Alestorm, decided to change that because being in a Pirate/Folk Metal band just wasn’t enough. Gloryhammer was born in 2010 to bring back sorcerers, dragons and an invading army of unicorns to the land of bagpipes and kilts. Yes, I said an invading army of unicorns. There is a song on this LP called “The Unicorn Invasion of Dundee.” I’m not shitting you. This is a concept album that starts off with Dundee, Scotland, being invaded by unicorns. There are also dragons and sorcerers involved, but I’m not exactly sure how. This is Epic Power Metal. There have to be dragons and sorcerers. It’s the law. What saves this LP from being absolute crap is the fact that the music makes the epic tale of Angus McFife (the hero of this mythical tale of alternate-history Scotland’s destruction under the hooves of Twilight Sparkle and the rest of her friends from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic) actually seem fun. Yes, the music isn’t groundbreakingly original. There is an established formula for Power Metal and deviating from it is essentially blasphemy. Nobody does it, and Gloryhammer is no exception. The lyrics are more than a little stupid. A story that begins with unicorns invading anywhere is guaranteed to get you into the stupid Metal lyric Hall of Fame. And a hero named Angus McFife? My Scottish ancestors are spinning in their graves. Shit, does the guy wear a kilt and have a bushy red beard, too? All of this is so fucking hokey that it can’t be serious and treating it as if it was probably defeats the purpose. If you look at this as a bedtime story told to you by your crazy Scottish great-grandfather (one that he pulled completely out of his partially senile/demented ass on the spot) set to the music of Rhapsody or Stratovarius, it actually works far better than it should.
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