POWER PALADIN – With The Magic Of Wyndfire Steel

POWER PALADIN - With The Magic Of Wyndfire Steel
  • 6.5/10
    POWER PALADIN - With The Magic Of Wyndfire Steel - 6.5/10


Label: Atomic Fire Records
Release date: January 7, 2022

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Pratchett vs Tolkien

The difficulty with Power and Epic Metal these days is to know if you should take it seriously or not. In the cases of bands such as Gloryhammer or even worse on the parodic side Nanowar of Steel, the answer is easy to find. Is humour the only way for this genre to escape cheesiness? The epic fantastic literature and artworks at the core of their inspiration did not age very well into the 21st century, it seems. Is there inherent nerdyness to this kind of music or is there more to it than dragons, unicorns and evil wizards? Is it possible to go beyond these clichés or to still successfully use them? Power Paladin provides some elements of answer to these interrogations, but they may not be to your liking.

Power Paladin, the alliteration makes it sound either ridiculous or utterly epic, and that is the key to the problem: it is a fine line between the two. And it reflects on the record, balancing between convincing epic pieces and uninspired songs that Rhapsody of Fire had sung already three decades ago. Another issue with the Epic, Power or Symphonic genre is the renewal of the music. It is hard to rise above and create something that does not sound like a million others. Power Paladin is thus a somewhat frustrating band as it sometimes finds some inspiration before slumping back to a sound more generic.

With the dreadfully, holy, powerful, magical, power of the might of the great, immortal… What is it again?

“Kraven the Hunter” will not mislead you. However, the first notes of the riff…sorry… but you’ve heard them before. These galloping harmonies dreadfully sound like Iron Maiden ( “Sign of the Cross” around 7 minutes through the song). Later on, “Evermore” does not really lower the doses of the kitsch and cheesy: eagles screams to punctuate the chorus, seriously? But, strangely enough, the song remains pleasant when stuck in your head. This time the balance tips towards the epic and less towards the rehashed. Apparently, you really can’t apply the less is more policy to this.

However, this good impression does not linger, as follows “Dark Krystal”, in which the drums are sorely lacking some subtlety. As Power Paladin claims inspiration from fantasy literature and pop culture, the band would do well to build on the nuances of the novels. But don’t despair, there are still some good points on this album. ” Into the Forbidden Forest” shows more balance and is a very good song, if classic. And to end on a positive note the last song “There can be only one” finally delivers its promises. From the discreet symphonic harmonies to the progression towards the eerie high pitched vocals, everything is mastered. Power Paladin prove at last that they understood how to translate epic and drama into their music.

Skipping to the end?

If you only want to bang your head to catchy riffs, you will most certainly enjoy this album. On the contrary, if you expect more of your dose of Epic Power Metal, With The Magic of Wyndfire Steel, will leave you slightly unsatisfied. While the first few songs are not notable for their originality, the last tier of the album is an improvement. So out of curiosity, maybe you should just skip to the end?


  • Séverine Peraldino

    Reviewer, interviewer and apprentice photographer for Metal Express Radio, Séverine comes from a small place in the Southern French Alps, near Grenoble. Her taste for classic Heavy Metal is a family heritage and after growing up listening to Iron Maiden, Dio, Metallica and Angra she expanded her horizons with almost every subgenre of Metal, from Power, to Prog, a little bit of Death and Black Metal. She mostly enjoys albums telling stories with originality. When she is not travelling around for concerts and festivals, you can find her reading a good book, or playing board games with friends.

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