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Galloglass - "Legends From Now And Nevermore"
SPV 2003

Even if the label says that Galloglass truly sounds like a perfect synthesis of old German speed metal a la old Helloween or early Blind Guardian and even the earlier works of Helstar and Fates Warning, it could not be more further from the truth. The only similarity here is that they are simultaneously trying to copy some of choruses and bridges that are representative for legends of German power metal. They have even "borrowed" some of them. The sound and production are more in the style of their closse SPV relatives and dragon chasers Rhapsody (songs like Dragon Revenge, The Quest, The Last Stand). Indeed, Olaf Reitmeier (Luca Turilli, Kamelot) produced the record and that gives us the answer about similarity. Any further comparison is just a bad joke to bands that were mentioned on the label.

Lyrics are total cliché (swords, dragons and sorcery), they are without any concept, which usually fit with lyrics that were inspired by fantasy (a la Blind Guardian, Grave Digger, Rhapsody, Domine amidst the best in this kind), even life messages have been missed that are normally hidden in "smart fairytales". I am not sure if Galloglass wanted to express that.

Lead vocals are pure and not so sweetened as for example in Hammerfall, but quite inexpressive. It does not contain any powerful energy that is almost necessary for a good power metal singer. That also does not fit with the good musical arrangement. Even if he tries his best (especially on title track), he can not hang out from the average rate.

It is also the main and worst musical element of entire record. Have I told you that along with the production, music is solid (without lead vocal) in general? Copy is never better than the original, so it does not matter if they proved that they could play like loads of other bands from that genre. For a German epic power metal band this is quite disappointing.

As it is with Rhapsody, Galloglass have added some orchestral elements to their music (violins, flute) and also some of the tracks includes pompous speeches in Latin and other "monster growlings".

Remember the Fire should fit to all those that are introduced to this genre of metal for the first time. It contains epic, but thousand times used main theme. The Conjuring almost ensured me that this project maybe have even some originality inside (it includes even some good brutality). Eye to Eye is yet another typical song, if we remember all the bands that used the same musical elements. The Quest is classical example how to create baroque ballad with flute and add some elements of folk music as well as the violins and speed of forementioned Rhapsody, except the lead vocals on The Last Stand.

The final result is not so bad, because after all Gallogllas are not a bad copy and it is also their debut album. With forgiveness in my heart, I can say that if they want to achieve any improvement or musical recognition they have to do a lot of things.

For the beginning they must improve lead vocals. They also emulate too much the style of other improved and respected bands.

So, do not fool yourself easily by that pompous label (which has dared to compare Galloglass with Blind Guardian, 'cause except the cover inspired by fantasy, they do not have any real musical link in between). You should use your money for new Rhapsody or even better for upcoming Blind Guardian's double live album. Galloglass is in best case their self-proclaimed copy. They are the new fairy tale, but also boring and unlegendary.

Author:   Peter

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