Frank’s Power Metal Favorites of Q1 2018

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Damn, the first three months of 2018 went quick. I guess time flies when you’re constantly worried about the possible ending of existence. Anywho, I’m doing something a bit different with my monthly power metal post. Two reasons for that: 1) March was a particularly slow and weak month for the sub-genre, and 2) I actually reviewed my favorite Power Metal album of March (read it here) so there’s no need to talk about it again. Have no fear, you who yearn for my epic posts, for I shall not let you down.

While this past month was a bit dry, Power Metal actually had a very good first quarter. Some releases you may have heard of, and some you may not. I thought this would be the perfect time for me to highlight some of my favorites from these first three months. Power metal walks a fine line sometimes. Thankfully, there have been more good than bad. It’s also been very diverse in its sound, covering European, US, symphonic, progressive and melodic. There’s something for everyone! Alright, enough talk. Time for some tuneage. Here are six of my favorites from 2018 thus far.

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Victorius – Dinosaur Warfare: Legend of the Power Saurus (Massacre Records)

This EP is just a great, fun bowl of power metal goodness. I mean, just look at that album cover! Lyrically it’s about dinosaurs that can shoot lasers and have razor-sharp claws and teeth. Sonically it’s European Power Metal to the core: delicious melodies, soaring clean vocals and incredible rhythm. Every time I listen to this EP I smile. A great listening experience.

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Frozen Crown – The Fallen King (Scarlet Records)

This is an impressive debut from the Italian quintet. A mix of symphonic and melodic elements that flow effortlessly and sound big. Excellent guitar work by Thalia Bellazecca & Federico Mondelli with amazing vocals from Giada “Jade” Etro. Personally, I could do without the harsh vocals, but it doesn’t bring down the music at all. A solid debut album.

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Automaton – Automaton (Independent)

Our favorite steampunk power metal troupe is back with another adventure. Their self-titled sophomore album continues where the first album left off. Overall I really enjoyed this record, although I do miss the spoken word interludes that made me fall in love with their debut. The production is a bit hollow, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying the record. It’s quite good.

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Visions of Atlantis – The Deep and The Dark (Napalm Records)

Moving on to the symphonic side of power metal, Visions of Atlantis released one of my most anticipated albums. With The Deep and the Dark, they did not disappoint. The additions of vocalists Clementine Delauney (Exit Eden) and Siegfried Samer (Dragony) has given the band the spark it needed. An incredibly beautiful and powerful record. An EOY contender for me.

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Sebastien – Act of Creation (Pride & Joy Music)

Melodic power metal may not be my go-to, but Sebastien’s new offering Act of Creation is absolutely on point. Each track on this album is crisp, strong and passionate with very little filler. George Rain’s voice is stronger than ever and the band shows major progression from their last album. It’s an satisfying listen from beginning to end.

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Heavatar – Opus II: The Annihilation (earMUSIC)

I admit, I was not a fan of Heavatar’s first album, so I was a bit skeptical about this. Half way into the first track my fears were put to rest and stayed that way until the end. Paying tribute to the great classical composers of the past, they incorporate that style along with German style power metal to bring fans a truly awesome album. Plus they cover Manowar’s “Metal Daze.” Sweet!

The first three months of 2018 has given the metal world some great albums from all sub-genres. While power metal had some slow patches, it overall had a terrific first quarter. It produced some incredible bangers and, by the looks of it, has no signs of slowing down. Some really good bands will be releasing albums in Q2, such as Kamelot, Riot V, Mary’s Blood, Circle of Silence, Ross the Boss and others. I’m certainly excited and can’t wait for all this new, epic tuneage to grace my ears. Until then, let us enjoy the tunes that we have.

HAIL to you all!!!

– Frank

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