Storming The Walls
Review by Brexaul on August 2, 2023.
2023 is turning out to be the defining year for Greece, which keeps making a killing and should be considered the capital of everything epic. While the Greeks were always known for their contributions to the extreme metal scene with the well-established heavy hitters, it took them a while until they broke through the wall of sloppy performing, bad productions and rough accents on the heavy/power metal front. But the past few years, one can easily claim that Greece has one of the best quantity/quality ratios to show, with some bands leading the race.
Triumpher rose from the ashes of Saboter, another very interesting Greek band and they deliver the kind of epic heavy metal with such confidence and persuasion that would make other bands call it quits. Borrowing heavily from "The Triumph Of Steel" era Manowar, they have expertly crafted a very interesting amalgam of influences that sounds fresh and interesting. I saw some reviews and read some feedback calling them Manowar clones, but I think this hardly does the music any justice since a) Manowar haven’t sounded this good for over two decades and b) they are just so much more than that. They manage to blend a whole wide variety of influences, from Slayer-ish thrash attacks to straight up Swedish/Norwegian (and Greek obviously) black metal so nicely, that Storming The Walls has something that a lot of new bands struggle to find until their third or fourth release, and that something is character.
The sound is freaking amazing, raw, without sounding too underground and polished, without sounding pretentious and sterile. Every instrument is played to perfection and clearly has its place in the mix and perfectly conveys the aggression and passion of the music. The drummer gives the performance of a lifetime, blending every trick up his sleeve, not afraid to experiment with blast beats and odd time signatures, greatly adding to the overall output. The guitars are sharp as a Damascus steel blade and do a hell of a job, both in the rhythm and lead parts, while the bass occasionally gets the spotlight with some sweet, distorted improvisations. Everything works great to create a solid ground for leader/vocalist Mars Triumph to unfold his full talent, utilizing his full arsenal.
He does a great job here, as one moment you get the black metal rasping aggression and next thing you know he is wailing like a banshee, in a tone and delivery heavily reminiscent of Eric Adams in his glory days. If I had to nitpick a bit, I’d like Mars’ grittier vocals to be on par with his stellar natural/clean voice and I’d proofread some of the lyrics before finalizing them as there is the occasional grammar mishap, which I know many people don’t give a shit, but I always like to delve into every aspect of a release. Mars Triumph is also responsible for the fantastic cover, which if I understand correctly, he painted himself as this is his full-time job. It shows the passion and creativity he put into this album, and I hope he keeps doing the covers for their future releases.
The songwriting is varied and very interesting, although my first impression was that I might have preferred a small shuffle on the track order. Nothing too major, but it would make the album a tad more accessible, although after spending about a month on this, I really see no issue for people willing to familiarize themselves before reviewing something. There are a lot of Bathory-esque moments in here (with the difference Mars can actually sing on key – sorry Quorthon, I love you) that add to the general feeling of epic and at it got so majestic at times, that I thought I was actually witnessing a scene from the cover, the armies of hell marching to the heaven’s walls and wrecking shit up. It’s really intense and well made. There are no bad songs in here and I have a difficulty picking up my favorite track, which is always a sign of a great album, although there are some that are much easier to get into, like the closing epic 'The Blazing Circle' which has that “instant hit” feeling.
In all honesty, this is a fantastic album. Triumpher came blasting (literally!) out of nowhere and they present a near flawless creation that I feel is only the start of something much greater. Even if they maintain 100% of the formula of Storming The Walls, they are already miles ahead from most of their contemporaries in terms of originality, songwriting, performance and vision. Keep an eye on this band, because I’ll be yelling I TOLD YOU SO on their next release.
Rating: 9.4 out of 10596