LANCER – Lancer

LANCER - Lancer
  • 7.5/10
    LANCER - Lancer - 7.5/10


Doolittle Group
Release date: January 18, 2013

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Lancer is an up and coming Swedish Classic Power Metal quintet. These guys are like a modern day Spinal Tap complete with their futuristically designed costumes, an entrenched 80’s Metal sound, and not to mention an armed battle ostrich as their mascot. Don’t be fooled though, you won’t find any cheeky and sarcastic content; these guys are all business and dutifully re-create a classic sound with a great amount of dignity and respect.

Lancer released a three song EP in early 2012 which received a very positive response among the Swedish Metal scene. This was able to catapult them to a deal with Christian Liljegren’s record label. Their debut self-titled album is filled with all the sentiments of classic Iron Maiden and Helloween; so much so that many of the tracks on Lancer could be easily confused as one of those songs. It’s not just the songs, but the overall style of singing and musicianship is nearly a complete carbon copy.

Despite the lack of originality and blatant attempts at plagiarism, there is some magical ingredient that makes them sound surprisingly innovative. The compositions and musical quality are quite superior. Vocalist Isak Stenvall does a masterful job of singing with an eccentric, bold passion. He clearly has his own great style, but sometimes gets lost in trying to sound too much like a young Bruce Dickinson or Kai Hansen. Because of this trait, there is a real inconsistency in the flow of the album. On some tracks you’ll hear Stenvall doing an impersonation of certain singers, while other songs will contain his own fervent style.

Expanding more on the album’s flow, this is the one huge weakness of Lancer. Overall, there is a traditional melodic style possessed in every track. However, with only nine tracks this is a relatively short album, and Lancer devotes about half to mimicking Iron Maiden and Helloween. Some people may find this an appealing aspect, but it takes away from the artistic integrity of Lancer no matter how you slice it.

One of the better, more original sounding songs on Lancer is “Seventh Angel.” During this track one can fully appreciate the vast range and talent of Stenvall as a vocalist. Not to mention the grand twin guitar mastery of Fredrik Kelemen and Peter Ellstrom who put together a fine tandem solo sequence during the middle part of the song. This is the kind of song they can build upon and make a complete album of that can be really special.

Looking past all the shortcomings that arise on this debut album, as a whole it’s a fun and entertaining trip. The songs are not bad by any means, and with such great musicianship, Lancer should be highly commended for this effort. Obviously fans of classic 80’s style Melodic Metal will love this record; however the fan base would not be able to stretch far beyond that realm. From a general Metal fan perspective, any band that can pull off a battle ostrich as their mascot needs to have a lot of balls, and Lancer certainly has plenty to offer and more.


  • Sean Meloy

    Sean Meloy was a reviewer, interviewer and DJ here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Iowa , USA. By day he is a straight laced, buttoned up, number crunching accountant; armed with his portable calculator. All other times he is a hard rocking Metal head! He spent many hours listening to records and 8-tracks with his father. Classic bands such as Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Kansas, Led Zeppelin, and Eric Clapton just to name a few. His father bought him his first record, Kiss Alive II, at age 6. By the time he reached his teens he was discovering all the Classic Metal of the 1980’s; Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, etc. He became a huge fan of the Thrash Metal of the time as well; Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Exodus, and Overkill. During the 1990’s he experimented with the Grunge and Hard Rock. However, by the time the millennium came he found himself going back to his roots and rebuilt the music collection he started in his teens.

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