Angus McSix And The Sword Of Power
Review by chrisc7249 on July 13, 2023.
Thomas Winkler is one of my favorite singers in metal in general; his voice is so expressive and his raspy tone gives him a lot of personality and makes him truly recognisable in the power metal scene. I felt pretty sad when Glory left his hammer (you know what I mean), but when I found out he'd come back with his own project, I felt really happy and eager to listen to his future music; it was like seeing my hero come back from the ashes. I listened to 'Master Of The Universe' countless times when it was released, and I was just hoping for the best. When this album was released, I took my best pair of earphones to check out this release AND...
There's a thin line between love and hate.
At first, I hated this record. It disappointed me. For a little time, I considered it the disappointment of the year. Actually a downgrade, opposite to how Angus promoted himself. However, this is something I experimented with a classic album like Sonata Arctica's "Ecliptica" as well: an initial rejection that after a while turned into appreciation and, in the end, became love. On this occasion, I can't say I fell totally in love with this record, but I truly enjoy these songs as a fan of power metal. I find much value in them despite an aspect I'll tell you later, but first, let's go with the positive stuff. To start with, Angus' voice is as epic as it has always been. I have nothing else to say about his performance aside from what I have already told about him (here and in other reviews). His voice is powerful, his aggressive tone gives him much personality and makes him an instantly recognisable singer. I dare to say the songs where he has participated as a singer are NOT nearly as great as without him singing in them. I may be talking from my fanaticism, but as far as I'm concerned, he really is one of the voices of modern power metal. Hail the Master of the Universe!
This album's strongest aspect, though, is the choruses. These songs were obviously written for the people to sing along live, and every chorus in this album attains this objective. 'Master Of The Universe', 'Ride To Hell', 'The Key To Eternity' and 'In A Past Reality' are perfect examples of this (my favorite songs from the album, actually). I really look forward to the day I can see him performing these songs live to sing them with all my might. The keyboards and electronic elements make the album have its own style. Yes, this is a symphonic power metal album and, obviously, it has those grandiloquent elements, but I didn't really expect to have electronic sounds and arrangements in it. A perfect addition to the music. Now, why did I hate this album at first? Well, because, as you know, power metal is characterized by the (sometimes) endless solos, either guitar or keyboard solos. Taking this into account, my first reaction was "WHERE THE F**K ARE THE SOLOS?!?!?!?!?". If you are like me and before you check out this album, know that there are no solos aside from 'Sixcalibur', why? No idea, but it's a waste considering that Thalìa is a talented guitarist; she has shown this in her social media and in Frozen Crown. I was truly expecting a great performance in the album because of the curriculum of their guitar player, and more if we remember that Thomas' previous band has TONS and TONS of AWESOME solos. Maybe he thought that his voice was the only attractive of Gloryhammer and that's why he felt so overconfident and said "Why solos? With my voice and my name it's enough". But no, I truly detested this artistic idea at first (and I'm still getting used to it). What am I listening to? Death metal? Nu metal? Bachata? NO! I'm listening to POWER F**KING METAL! Come on, even doom metal bands have solos, DOOM METAL!
However, a wise man can change his mind (well, partially this time). This album really needs guitar solos. I just can't understand this creative decision provided they have a good performer, and I really hope the band includes the talent of Thalìa in the future.
However, I just can't hate this album despite this lack of solos. The choruses are memorable, the music is epic, the band, in general, are good performers and Thomas Winkler's voice keeps on being one of the best parts of the album (more if you're already a fan of his work). If you want a good dose of solos, check out the newest Gloryhammer album instead. However, if you don't mind this and you're willing to enjoy some symphonic power metal with electronic elements and catchy choruses that are perfect to sing along in a concert, then go for it. Check it out. You won't regret it. I'm pretty sure you'll find, at least, 3 songs that will become your favorite ones. This is a good beginning, I guess. However, I hope they evolve, learn and realize the potential they have.
Rating: 8 out of 10417