German metal act VICTORIUS arrives with "Heart Of The Phoenix", the band's 4th album but their first to gain major exposure as they move from a smaller independent label to the larger German label Massacre records.
Victorious' style is classic metal, Euro melodic metal / power influenced by the '80s / '90s sound of the genre. You know it the instant you hear the first notes.
Count them off: clean and melodic lead / choral vocals, twin guitar harmony, blazing solos, and a galloping rhythm section to keep the pace racing.
For examples, 'Hero' starts with a short slow strings intro, and we are catapulted right into classic Euro metal with power riffs and incessant drumbeats. This tune has one of the best solos of the album, the vocals are some kind of epic and the choruses, as happens throughout the whole album, are perfectly timed and the pitches harmonized perfectly.
'Sons Of Orion' has a layer of bright and shiny keyboard. The result is more progressive with a significant rock groove. 'A Million Lightyears' is similar with its symphonic layer, but offers a slightly moderate rhythm and includes what surely sounds like a female singer in duet with lead singer David Bassin.
'Heart Of The Phoenix', the album’s title track, has an uplifting beat and with good changes in cadence. The guitars have simpler riffs here, but captivating as well, through their riding rhythms until we get to the classic scale solo.
'Empire of the Dragon King' has a very epic sound, with orchestration, completing the atmospheric guitars to bring us inside a fantasy world. The breakdown chorus is a great strength of this song, giving it force and diversity.
So the conclusion is simple: if you like classic European melodic metal / power, then Victorius' "Heart Of The Phoenix" is the real deal. The album is an easy listen, although it is not bringing any originality in the genre, its plain '80s / '90s stuff in all its classic appeal.
They don't need to reinvent the wheel, just keep it spinning. If you like any of that description or simply like the band, this album will not disappoint you.
The songs are fast paced, musically well constructed, and the choruses are appealing and make you want to sing along.
Strong and entertaining record.
01 - Shadow Warriors
02 - Hero
03 - End of the Rainbow
04 - Die by My Sword
05 - Sons of Orion
06 - Heart of the Phoenix
07 - Empire of the Dragon King
08 - Hammer of Justice
09 - Beyond the Iron Sky
10 - Virus
11 - A Million Lightyears
David Bassin - Vocals
Dirk Scharsich - Guitars
Florian Zack - Guitars
Andreas Dockhorn - Bass
Frank Koppe – Drums
BUY IT !