Gloryful – The Warrior’s Code
Gloryful – The Warrior’s Code (2013)
Reviewed by Christopher Foley
I’m often torn as to where my favorite regional power metal scene is; Swedish? US? One thing’s for sure though, whenever I weigh in the vast areas of power metal brilliance across our mother earth, the Germans always rank high. They boast everything I love about the genre; crunchy guitars, good melody, excellent vocals, they have it all. As such, I’m normally keen to hear any German heavy and/or power metal release. Which is good, as up for inspection today are German upstarts Gloryful with their debut album The Warrior’s Code. So, without further ado, let’s see how much glory these guys can pack into under an hour.
First things first, any album cover adorned with polar bear-mounted barbarian women is – at least to me – making a promise that the band had better live up to. Fortunately for Gloryful, their brand of Iron Maiden-meets-Grave Digger-via-Running Wild is a lot of fun and A-OK in my book. They boast ample amounts of the aforementioned crunch and melody, and although their lyrics are kind of dumb, The Warrior’s Code is an altogether enjoyable experience.
Vocalist Johnny la Bomba could be a sore point for some, and I’d say he sounds like a 2:2:1 mix of Bruce Dickinson, Jioti Parcharidis and Chris Boltendahl, although maybe not as good as any of them. Sometimes he sounds a little stifled, but for the most part his performance is passionate and energetic, and I definitely enjoy it. As I stated earlier, some of the lyrics are kind of dumb: they fall into the “heavy metal is the law”, poser killing, Manowarrior territory. If you enjoy this kind of thing, then it won’t be a problem, although if you don’t, the lyrics could come off as a little annoying.
As for the performances, well, I’ll guarantee you’ve heard these chord progressions and riffs a hundred times or more. Luckily, Gloryful brandishes these with a burning intensity, and the vast majority of the riffs, rhythms, and lead guitars hit the mark well. In particular, I’d say the lead guitars are particularly impressive and enjoyable, taking most inspiration from Iron Maiden’s eighties run.
On the whole, I’ve enjoyed this album a fair bit. Gloryful definitely has the heavier, German approach to power metal down well, and whilst certainly wearing their Maiden influence on their sleeve, they never become too derivative. This isn’t anything new or groundbreaking, but if you enjoy good, old-fashioned heavy/power metal, then I can pretty much guarantee you’ll get a fair amount of mileage from The Warrior’s Code. Maybe not packed to the brim with the power metal glory their name might suggest, but without a doubt a solid debut and certainly worth a few listens. Recommended!
3.5 // 5