GAIA EPICUS – Symphony Of Glory

GAIA EPICUS - Symphony Of Glory


Sound Riot Records
Release date: July 29, 2005

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Written in collaboration by Anne-Lene Rodahl and Dan Skiba

Gaia Epicus is a four-man band from the Northern section of Norway. The band enjoyed positive reviews over their first album, Satrap, in 2003, and are now out with their second record with the Portuguese label Sound Riot Records. A very artistic cover by Michael A. Mueller immediately makes you think of some kind of Eddie (Iron Maiden) clone. Mueller has designed some covers for Megadeth, one of the bands that is a Gaia Epicus influence. Iron Maiden, Stratovarius, and Helloween are just a few of the others.

According to the band’s Web site, they refer to their music as “Melodic Progressive Power Metal.” As odd as that may seem, this description is right on. There’s plenty of double-bass drum action and speed to the band’s music, certainly of the Power Metal vein, but that foundation is taken up a notch into the world of Progressive Metal with some Pagan’s Mind-ish extended jams and guitar riffs, along with some well-placed keyboard work by guest musician Lars A. Larsen (Highland Glory). The Melodic aspect of the music basically means, though up-tempo in each song, everything is kept under control. The production of the album is nothing short of excellent, with all of the instruments coming through powerfully and as clear as a bell (like any Progressive Metal record should).

The album starts out with a scratchy, circus-like opening, then kicks into “Time And Space,” which is possibly the best track on the album. It’s pretty obvious these guys from Gaia Epicus are very talented musicians and songwriters once you hear this track, but the glaring weakness in their makeup comes via the vocal abilities of Thomas Christian Hansen. Lyrically, Gaia Epicus puts forth an admirable effort (with the sole exception of the somewhat goofy lyrics present in “Spanish Eyes”), but Hansen simply doesn’t have the pipes to deliver the goods. He has little range, is often off key, has a fairly thick accent that is especially evident when he sings any word containing “th” in it, and comes through “thin” sounding — very odd since the instruments come through with such a full-bodied sound to them.

Well, you can’t always have it all… despite the sub-par vocal performance, at least 8 out of the 10 full-length tracks on this album are very enjoyable and innovative due to the very strong musical performance, and the fact that band opts to include extended jam sessions in most of the songs.

With that said, this album is certainly a good follow up record from Gaia Epicus, however, whether or not there will be an album #3 remains to be seen. Unfortunately, their bass player, Yngve Hanssen, died in a car crash six months before the release of Symphony of Glory, and two months earlier, drummer Michael Duna, decided to leave the band. Hans Aage Holmen has already joined in on bass, but the band is still searching for a new drummer.


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.