HIGHLAND GLORY – Forever Endeavour

HIGHLAND GLORY - Forever Endeavour


Release date: September 26, 2005

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The awaited successor to Highland Glory’s 2003 debut From The Cradle To The Brave is here: Forever Endeavour is a 10-track conceptual piece with a pronounced Power Metal expression. The story seems to be spun around the mysteries of immortality through reincarnation and is predominantly in a melancholic shade.

The Music

“Spirit Of Salvation” gets the show started in a very proper manner with its adrenalin tempo and melodic phrasing. Its main theme is as addictive as it is simple. The tempo continues in “Break The Silence,” which otherwise offers a spoken first verse, helping build the appropriate mystical drama. Although very predictable, the melody is outstanding when it comes to being catchy …

Highland Glory’s guitar mates Jack-Roger Olsen and Lars Andre Larsen play it safe but good in the solo part of “Edge Of Time!” The song is also founded on a more pronounced guitar riff, as opposed to the two previous tracks. Speaking of pronounced, if “Mindgame Masquerade” doesn’t call for kilts and swords, then what will? Apart from a splendid solo, it also offers impressive intensity in the guitar department throughout.

The guitar theme from “Mindgame Masquerade” is the root of the soft piano theme in “The Sacrifice,” which is kept in a very classic ballad style. There are some mighty nice moments here, but the guitar solo adds nothing to the song but time. With “Surreality,” it’s back to the Metal domain, in which the band sounds much more convincing. Unfortunately, the lead vocals grow more annoying than admiring in this song (see further down for some elaboration on this …). On the other hand, the following song, the title track “Forever Endeavour,” brings balance to the album again, with its blistering speed, demonic sound, and melodic, catchy chorus!

“Real Life” is less interesting, and “Somewhere” is the album’s second ballad, with a near sentimental mood, not much to the album’s benefit. Besides, it feels a lot longer than what it actually is. Also on the long side is the concluding track, “Demon Of Damnation” (more than 8 minutes), but its symphonic character and colorful moods makes it an album favorite! In fact, this might be one of the best songs ever from Highland Glory.

The Band

Much has been said about Highland Glory vs. Phoenix Rizing. Most of it has been related to the introduction of singer Jan Thore Grefstad. Grefstad is undoubtedly a very capable singer (well proven in songs like “The Sacrifice” and “Break The Silence”), so what’s with all the screaming? High register notes often force Grefstad’s voice into the twilight zone, out from which it emerges in the shape of one from an open throat slit. It’s OK at first, but it soon becomes a rather ghastly experience.

The sound is otherwise surprisingly synthetic, especially with regards to the overall heavy compression (i.e., lack of dynamics) and the drums sounding almost machine-made (such as the snare drum in “Mindgame Masquerade”). The album doesn’t so much suffer from this, but it does leave you with a quasi-feeling of lack of authenticity.

Highland Glory’s many influences surface on Forever Endeavour, as well as on their debut album. Their influences, more or less, positively contribute to their own expression, except for the instrumental main theme in “Mindgame Masquerade,” which more than just resembles “Blood Of Emeralds” (Gary Moore, AfterThe War), doesn’t it? Looking at either of these songs, or the album in general, the “Celtic” feeling is the common denominator, indeed justifying the band’s name. On the other hand, their lyrics do reveal their Norwegian heritage …

The Verdict

In the end, Forever Endeavour offers several songs with distinct memorable character: you’ll be singing along from the 2nd chorus onwards, right from the first spin! Highland Glory offers songs with melodic qualities many bands would envy, but they also lack originality other bands may possess. Anyhow, there are many of you out there likely to love Forever Endeavour for years to come …


  • Frode Leirvik

    Frode was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Norway. His headbanging experience started when his brother-in-law gave him Deep Purple’s Fireball at the age of ten. Since then, he has also been a fan of and active in several other musical genres, resulting in a deep and profound interest in music. Some of his favorites, among all of those who have somehow managed to tap into the universal force of Progressive Music are (in no particular order): Thule, Dream Theater, King Crimson,Pink Floyd, Rush, Spock’s Beard, Jan Hammer and Jerry Goodman, Ekseption, Focus, The Beatles, Deep Purple and Frank Zappa.

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