• 7/10
    GAIA EPICUS - Victory - 7/10


Epicus Records
Release date: January 26, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Victory is the third full-length release from Norwegian Heavy Metallers Gaia Epicus. Their prior album, 2005’s Symphony Of Glory, was the subject of some controversy between the band and their label at the time. Not wishing to repeat that bit of unpleasantness, band leader Thomas Christian Hansen chose to release Victory on the newly-founded Epicus Records label.

Victory sees a new rhythm section, joining returning members Hansen and guitarist Joakim Kjelstad, Hans Holmen on bass and Ole Myrholt on drums. Holmen replaces Yngve Hannsen, who passed away in a car accident in 2005. Since the recording of Victory, Holmen has left the band.

With all this turmoil and tragedy behind them, Gaia Epicus looks to rock hard with Victory and focus on the music.

If you’ve never heard a Gaia Epicus song before, they sound a lot like speedy Metal bands such as Gamma Ray, with a bit of Megadeth mixed in. With Victory, you get lots of speedy riffs, forceful, fast-paced drumming, florid solos, and catchy vocalizations. This is a pattern the band established from the start, and they don’t alter it too much here. Gaia Epicus sounds a lot like other bands that play this sort of fast Power Metal, and they’re good at what they do.

Victory is a pretty good slab of European Power Metal, although not totally original, it’s well-produced and generally enjoyable: the riffs are heavy and plentiful, the choruses are big and fat, a few of the solos peel paint, and there’s a lot of edgy, energetic attitude to be found all across the disc. Hansen’s vocals are a bit rough and raw, but they fit the music well and give it some personality. The album’s also a little less “happy” sounding than the band’s previous output, with most of the songs having a darker, more somber tone; “Revenge Is Sweet,” which seems like a thinly-veiled “Screw You!” to Gaia Epicus’ last label, is kind of nasty in this regard.

Of the 11 tracks on Victory – two of which are short instrumentals – the better songs would be the riff-heavy “Iron Curtain” and the grinding, dark “Unleash The Monster.” The catchy “Rise Of The Empire” seems to be about the movie Star Wars, and it’s pretty good too. “Fortress Of Solitude” is a fun tune with a good chorus, and “Through The Fire” is a hard-hitting song with lots of energy. The album closes with the title track, and it’s the standard “Heavy Metal Is Great!” song that every Metal band records at least once in their careers; it’s neither the best nor the worst example of this type of stadium-friendly anthem, falling somewhere in the middle.

Victory contains no real surprises for Power Metal aficionados; you’ve heard all this before. That being said, Gaia Epicus has still done a good job with this album.


  • Gary McLean

    Gary was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of the small Ontario, Canada town of Sault Ste. Marie, right on the border of Michigan, USA. When it comes to Metal and Hard Rock, Gary likes quite a few different bands, from stalwarts like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, to newer, hard-hitting groups such as Primal Fear, Hammerfall, and Paragon. Other favorites include the likes of Nightwish, Running Wild, Therion, Accept, Stratovarius, Dream Evil, Helloween, Rammstein, Dirty Looks, Crimson Glory, Tristania, and Gamma Ray. He thinks AC/DC deserves a paragraph all their own though.

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