actually recorded their (largely overlooked) debut right back in 1987! They retain their original Vocalist/Guitarist and Drummer, are American, and dubbed as Power Metal
. But straight away that European/American definition of Power Metal
rears it's head and I am forced to be really geeky and define which area of Power Metal
we are actually dealing with. I realize many people out there didn't even think (or care) that there were differences within the genre, and this may make it sound like I haven't left my house since 1995 but I will carry on regardless.
â (their 6th full-length studio release to date) is a good example of the Atlantic Power Metal
Divide (The APMD - It's like the NWOBHM, but much less interesting and generally no-one really seems to give a toss...). Iced Earth
are American and are Power Metal
are German and are Power Metal
random examples that I feel sound quite dissimilar. I also offer that Queensryche, Crimson Glory
were called power metal in the States in the 80's (the era that gave birth to the genre), yet in Europe it was Gamma Ray
, Running Wild
etc. This trend has continued (with a few exceptions) for the last 20 odd years. So can we all accept that even to the untrained Power
-Ear the two global definitions are different?
For fear of my review now falling flat on it's arse I will take that as a Yes.
I bore the crap out of you all for good reason though, because Sacred Oath
, intentionally or by fluke have managed to bridge the two at times...which, finally, shows why I was waffling on about it so much earlier! We got there in the end people, thank you for your patience...
For instance, Second Track 'The Way Of All Flesh
' (all epic 7 minutes of it) really reminds me of German Prog/Power
Metallers Mind Odyssey
in it's musical arrangement and vocal delivery. This band is a comparison that crops up throughout âFallen
â. Other tracks seem to incorporate elements of mid-Nineties (and also German) Heaven
' in particular). The State-side feel gets a look-in with 'Snake Eyes
' â sounding as it does of Holy Mother
, with audible comparisons from Jag Panzer
(if anyone remembers them?) cropping up on many an occasion within the choppy guitar breaks, riffs and time changes. All this does help to make âFallen
â a really varied Power Metal
album, both vocally and musically.
But Andy, you missed out opener 'King
Of Your World'! Unfortunately this song (especially the verse), and also later track 'Lurking Fear', seem intent on reminding us that America also gave the world Nu-Metal
and have vocal elements/arrangements that really need to stay in that genre (Nu-Power Metal
?...shudder!). Really not sure what the band were trying to do here, but in fairness, one of their endearing qualities is that they do have a tendency to root through the old toy-box and chuck in anything they fancy at times. It always keeps the listener guessing â there's a really nice acoustic guitar piece ('Aradia
') and the title track incorporates Latin Chants (there was a time when it seemed like every other Power Metal
CD had them on it somewhere) that probably seem a little out of place in the context of the song, but I'm sure others will feel they work fine, giving the track a more epic feel.
In summary, I have to admit âFallen
â is a more intriguing listen than face value offers, but have I actually been too analytical? Is this just opening up more debate on the differences between European and American Power Metal
? Did everyone left reading this review just shout âGood God
NO!!â in unison? Is every other reader mentally trying to remove my computer and throw it from the nearest window just to make this review end? Fair point. I'll be huddled in that dark corner over there...