Victorius are a Power Metal band hailing from Leipzig, Germany. They were formed in 2004 and have released albums The Awakening and their debut Unleash The Titans.
In a sub genre of metal that is saturated with acts, some of which really stand out, some of which just don’t, can Victorius bring anything new and fresh to the table with their second release under the SonicAttack/SPV/Avalon Marquee labels?
The great production is evident right from the first track. Crystal clear guitar opens up ‘Twilight Skies’ before an onslaught of speedy riffs and lightening drums. One thing Victorius have not done is mess with the style. It’s Power Metal in its purest form. The singer, David, has a great voice and the song is packed with melody. The next track ‘Day of Reckoning’ has a more galloping pace over most of the track with rapid fire bursts of energy. It’s good to hear it mixed up a bit and the vocal is more congruent with the lyrics by adding a bit of venom. There’s some nice solo work in the middle and it’s easy to follow as the vocal is very clear. I can imagine this being a great sing-a-long for the crowd. There is also a guest appearance on ‘Dragonheart’, an anthemic fantasy tale, and is none other than Mr Winkler, a.k.a Angus McFife from GloryHammer who adds a bit of bombastic clout to the song. The vocals are backed with a gang effort to add power to a track that skips along with classic riffs and tight melody.
‘Fireangel’ opens up like a damn good thrash number. Ripping guitar work is laced with a melodic solo burst and powerful drumming. When the vocal kicks in and starts to tell the story the track is softened a bit, but the riffs remain heavy throughout. For the next two tracks ‘Dreamchaser’ and ‘Battalions of the Holy Cross’ the band returns to the speedy format of the opener in a kind of ‘DragonForce on a slow day’ and ‘Gamma Ray on a fast day’ type display. Both are good tracks but don’t really stand out for me. They’re just good, pacey Power songs. The next track, however, I did enjoy. ‘Blood Alliance’ has an epic feel to it. It’s a slower tempo track but there is emphasis from the blast beat drumming every now and again along with the deep, heavy classic guitar riffs and more attitude in the vocal. This one would surely have swathes of headbangers throwing their hair about to the marching rhythm.
‘Speedracer’ and ‘Where Ravens Fly’ return to the by now familiar format of speed riffs and almost melt into the other tracks. The latter is more interesting as the tempo slows toward the end and then builds into a dramatic crescendo before the end of the song. ‘Black and White’ adds something slightly different. The speed is still there with the drums but the riffs are more distorted, adding a bit of a djenty sound. Don’t get panicked though, the soft vocals make sure that the band haven’t moved into a ‘core’ sub genre, but it does add a different dimension to the bands sound and shows a bit of diversity.
No Power band should exist unless they can throw out a decent ballad. I mean, what else do you think phones have torches on nowadays if not to replace the waving of Zippo lighters in a swaying crowd? ‘Silent Symphony’ is a really pleasant slow number. It shows off the nice vocal tone of the frontman. It’s not epic in length and it’s not one of those anthems that makes the hairs stand up on your neck but it’s a really nice end to the album and it does have a lovely solo towards the end.
Is there a remarkable difference between Victorius and their peers? I’m afraid not. However the band are tight, the vocalist is strong and the songwriting is very good. Something needs to poke out though and really set Victorious apart so that they are not compared to other bands as a lazy way of explaining their sound, sorry about that.
There were flashes of perfection on the album, Blood Alliance for instance was a great track and Fireangel added a touch of thrash that just mixes the sound up a bit. And the distorted sounds on Black and White adds another dimension that can be exploited to make Victorius different.