Galloglass - _Legends From Now and Nevermore_
(Limb Music Productions, 2003)
by: Adam Lineker (6.5 out of 10)
With a winged wyrm rising in flames masquerading as cover art, this record opens the proceedings in a manner you would predict. Briefly portentous mock-classical musings give way to some high octane, yet strangely underpowered riffery, and then we're all riding off into familiar flights of fantasy. The singer displays a fine pair of lungs, his vocal stylings on the less nasal side of 'very-HammerFall-esque'; thankfully, sub-Halford falsetto squawking is kept to a minimum. Galloglass build their metal on the comfortably immediate grounding provided by traditional melodics and song structuring, with an abundance of solo and dual guitar work in the midsections, and chorus hooks aplenty. More often than not, some violins and choir voices lend their support, and alongside the odd chant, there is the occasional nod towards folk stylings.

So it's power metal, and not particularly bad power metal at that, sounding exactly as you'd think it should sound: that familiar piss-weak guitar crunch, and leadwork that shines like swords in the sun; the perfunctory and mechanistic under-use of the rhythm section; the lyrics about dragons and stuff, which is all cool in my book, even if it is forgettable, meaningless tosh.

Sadly I am left out in the cold by the evident lack of emotional depth displayed here. As competent and committed as Galloglass seem, _Legends From Now and Nevermore_ makes for a rather unengaging listen. The band hardly sound as if they are playing their hearts out, or that there was any genuine inspiration experienced in the creation of _LFNaN_. As good as is some of Galloglass' work, they are offering the listener nothing new. Still, since when has European power metal been concerned with breaking any musical boundaries? HammerFall and Blind Guardian followers are advised to give this a look; those who don't like power metal will not have their minds changed by _Legends From Now and Nevermore_.

Alas that I feel like I've heard this record done before, so many times, and I am left dealing with familiar frustrations. For Odin's sake, if this music is a heartfelt and innocent expression of the true metal spirit, then why does it have to be so consistently flaccid in execution?

(article published 28/7/2005)


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