“The Triumph of True Metal
” is Hercules' first concept album and it describes Chris' struggles and trials to reach the musical point where he is standing at the moment, with lots of metaphors and poetic references to his lyrics. It's definitely a very hard album to listen to and let alone review due to it being probably the most progressive studio album helmed by Chris, but I'll do my best to note every memorable aspect of it. Before I begin, I would like to mention that TTOTM was intended to be released as one song, though due to upload speed limitations, Chris decided to split the song into four parts and those parts into some additional segments.
Initially, I would say that TTOTM has the cleanest guitar parts than any other album such as the intro of “Storming The Gates
” which you can listen to towards the end of Part 1 of TTOTM and certainly has that passive-aggressive feel of old 70's Latin flamenco artists and on the other hand you have the very emotional interlude of “Massacre
” which is a segment of TTOTM Part 2. Also, it would be a sin not to mention the mythical-sounding intros of both “Riding To Babylon
” and “The Descent Of True Metal King
”. They may be considered simplistic but I think they are cleverly added to the album and introduce the listeners to an epicurean sonic wave.
Of course, the album is not deprived of its heaviness and still maintains that signature metallic old-school feel that you can find in the rest of the Hercules releases. If you're looking to daydream about being at war against your enemies, I'd recommend you play the third part of TTOTM on repeat. Or, if you are a mentally stable person, just work out to it. It's probably the most sinister-sounding in terms of songwriting. Though certainly, there are some vocal lines that could lift your spirits and make you do impossible tasks, as someone can tell from the chorus of “Waiting For The King
”, one of the most heroic vocal deliveries I've ever listened to, and then you have the singing on “Storming The Gates
” which sounds rougher than ever before and is very similar to the style of singing found on the great “Deluge
” album by Manilla Road
Moving on, some new drum techniques are used, particularly that of the blast beat which I'm not really a fan of (I prefer the double kick drum groove or the old school punk beat) but at least it's decently programmed and blends in nicely with the guitar riffs. Another cool part of TTOTM is that you can find a lot of sound effects and instrument samples being played such as for example, those of a horn, a tambourine, a cowbell, a Hammond organ, and of course, there are the audio effects of thunderbolts and explosions which were also used on some of the previous Hercules releases. Also, another positive aspect is the multiple usages of spoken words and shouting by Chris and I've got to say, these elements always fit into Chris' compositions.
While Chris does surprise me with his kick-ass galloping riffs(cough cough “Massacre
” main riff) and his commitment to record each guitar separately and pan them accordingly, I still find the same old problems. First of all, I'd prefer if he added some reverb on the drums so they don't sound completely flat and I also wish he would add bass on this album, played either by a session musician or programmed(the latter is honestly a nightmare though, trust me) by Chris himself. Those issues really drain points from this review and while they make this true metal voyage enjoyable albeit slightly incomplete. Also for those wondering about the weird language being spoken in some of the songs, it's obviously greek, with Chris shouting "Babylon
has fallen!", "lock the gates!", "triumph!, Victory
!" and other lines that belong in a film set in ancient times.
"Waiting For The King
" 2nd segment of "The Triumph of True Metal
: Part II"
"Riding To Babylon
" 1st segment of "The Triumph of True Metal
: Part I"