Gloryful – Ocean Blade
Reviewed by Christopher Foley
Here we have album number two from German heavy/power warriors Gloryful, and those who remember my review of debut The Warrior’s Code should have an inkling as to what to expect. With Ocean Blade, I could very happily paraphrase the prior review, as this album falls completely in the same ballpark, and with the same players, although perhaps a different ball. Not a bad thing by any stretch, as if you’re in the market for some straight up, unadulterated heavy/power metal, you’ve definitely come to the right place.
As per last time, I have to say – again – that the artwork rules! Whilst the barbarian-ridden polar bear will take some beating, the bizarre kraken and mermaid spawn ruining the day for those poor sailors/pirates (probably pirates) boasts considerable charm and quality. Next time around I want to see polar bear barbarian vs. the mer-kraken. Do it guys!
So, what can you expect if you haven’t heard The Warrior’s Code? Well, riffs for one. Riffs in spades! Riffs for everyone! Powerful vocals too; last time I waffled on about a crazy mix of Bruce Dickinson, Jioti Parcharidis, and Chris Boltendahl, but what I probably should have said was that vocalist Jonny la Bomba reminds of Mystic Prophecy’s R.D. Liapakis. Either way, Jonny is powerful, commanding, and definitely sounds superior here. The lyrics dial back on the Manowarrior stuff and instead sport rollicking tales from the high seas – Running Wild style. Talk about this guy – “McGuerkin”, which I thought might have been Scotland’s exclusive McDonald’s sandwich, actually turns out to be a guy who enjoys raising flags on a bridge.
The music is still that glorious blend of Iron Maiden and Running Wild, with the killer “Sirens Song” displaying that comparison to bang-on effect. Plenty of propulsive rhythms, poser-slaughtering riffs, and shredding guitar solos. If metal is your law, Gloryful is a band you should acquaint yourself with. The main differences between Ocean Blade and the debut stem from more focused songwriting and a shorter run length. The end result ensures an album perfect for short journeys or some pre-night, on-the-tiles drinking. Guaranteed fist pumping action!
There’s little left to say, Gloryful isn’t going to change the game just yet – although the potential may be there to do so in the future. This band provides all the necessary elements you expect from your proficient “worship” band, but kicks it up a notch with passionate performances and energy dripping from every corner. There’s little wrong with Ocean Blade, plenty of fun, and just that right amount of “hey, I’ve heard this riff before…is it Iron Maiden? Is it Running Wild? Judas Maiden? Running Priest?” Recommended!
3.5 // 5