HIGHLAND GLORY – From The Cradle To The Brave

HIGHLAND GLORY - From The Cradle To The Brave


Release date: March 17, 2003

User Review
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From the ashes of Phoenix Rizing, here’s Highland Glory. You take the creative parts of the first-mentioned, get rid of a singer worse than yours truly in the shower, find a new guy (more on him later), and all of a sudden you have a band ready for the big cake.

The two first releases by Phoenix Rizing (yes, I see Highland Glory as a continuation of this band, regardless of how many lawyers the previous “singer” will employ) were typical German speed metal, and not too impressive in my book. Decent songwriting, a little too much double kicking, and that singer again… Now, we’ve gotten another band to be proud of up here in Vikingville (also known as Oslo). Not re-inventing the wheel though, (how many wheels can you invent by the way?), Highland Glory shows with their important third release classy power/speed metal. Influences from Running Wild, Helloween and Iron Maiden can be heard – nothing wrong with that – all works well also when the ballad “This Promise I Swear” floats out of my JBLs. And with the new guy behind the mic, Jan Thore Grefstad (makes me understand why Norwegian artists often use artist names, ha ha), the band (finally) has what it needs to be taken seriously. Jan Thore makes me think of his royal highness Eduard Hovinga. Yes, the first singer from Elegy, also known from Prime Time. But Jan Thore also has a stronger voice. Very impressing…

As with lots of records today, it’s hard to pick favorite tracks. If I like a CD, I like most songs. If I don’t like it very much – you rarely get to read about it here anyway. The day only has 24 hours still, so why waste time in writing about stuff you don’t like? Oh well, back to the CD, “Beyond The Pharaoh’s Curse” is brilliant, just like “Wear Your Gun To Neverland”, “Land Of Forgotten Dreams” (both parts), and the mentioned ballad is strong and powerful, in vein of Angra’s unbelievably “Heroes Of Sand”. And the title track really rocks!!!

But Jan Thore Grefstad doesn’t make this album all by himself. Guitarist (and main composer?) Jack-Roger Olsen lays down nice solos, and comes up with crunch that makes your neck work. The keyboard work from Lars Andre Larsen is also a honorable mention. And the cover painting by Mark Wilkinson is killer. Highland Glory now has the potential to go far – like I didn’t say that already. This album is recommended to all fans of Helloween, Conception, Iron Maiden (there should be a few out there), only the business aspects will decide how far.

PS! Someone make sure Progpower-Glenn gets a copy of this disc!


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