METALIUM – Demons of Insanity: Chapter Five

METALIUM - Demons of Insanity: Chapter Five


Armageddon Music
Release date: April 25, 2005

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German Metal has several well-known characteristics, which as the devoted readers know, has been the theme of many a below-the-belt jokes here at Metal Express. Screaming vocals, rather funny lyrics, strongly accented English pronunciation, and archetypical riffs are common, and you can all be assured that every possible cliche the style has ever offered can be found on this album, the band’s fifth studio album so far.

Not surprisingly, the ball starts off with a short intro, followed by a double bass up-tempo track. Metalium has showed on earlier occasions that they are capable of producing awesome speedy numbers, and once again “Power Of Time” is among the better tracks. It reaches neither the speed nor the quality of previous Metalium album openers, but it is a solid song with decent riffing and verse parts, and a chorus that showcases the vocal range of front man Henning Basse, although it’s not the strongest melodically speaking. Basse gets all kinds of room to show off on this album, and songs like “Ride On” and several others would not be what they are without such a capable singer.

The title track is next, and unfortunately the positive tendencies from the opener are not present. The main riff is okay, and the verses and bridge are not bad, but the chorus flops and overall the track never surpasses average. Actually, those words describe most of the album pretty precisely … this disc desperately lacks true killer songs, and although all of the well-known elements are present –- or perhaps because all of the well-known elements are present – this album never gets very exciting.

There are exceptions, though -– “Ride On,” “Sky is Falling,” and “Destiny” aren’t bad songs, and here the band manages to come up with the quality melodies needed to make this kind of music entertaining.

Maybe surprisingly, the ballads produced in this genre are of a very diverse standard -– the ballad “Silence of the Night” is among the highlights of the album. It is simple and beautiful with piano chords, incredibly powerful vocals, a sparse orchestral arrangement, and the chorus melody is majestic in its simplicity.

On the other hand, there are songs like the quasi-heavy and downright boring “Endless Believer” -– a strong nominee for the Hopeless Operatic Background Vocals Award of the Year, with its downright funny vibrato-orgies in the chorus, “Atrocity,” which completely fails in its attempt at being bombastic, and the closing track “One By One,” which, of course, is supposed to be epic, majestic, and so forth. Unfortunately the song fails at all points, and an otherwise boring track is topped off by a chorus with v-e-r-y annoying backing vocals. Hired the wrong choir performers this time folks?

It’s a pity … this band, although they have produced good albums in past efforts, never manages to come up with that one killer record to lift them into Metal stardom. They are hard-working and passionate musicians who definitely deserve some credit, but unfortunately this is not the album to make things really take off. Sorry guys.


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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