Metal of the World
posted on 7/2011 By:
Spanish power metal act Vhäldemar has clearly taken much inspiration from their Teutonic cousins to the northeast – quite simply, they couldn’t sound a whole lot more German unless they were chanting “Deustchland Uber Alles” through a mouthful of spaetzle and dunkelweiss. With the instantly accessible songwriting of Helloween and the feral thrash-tinted vocals of Grave Digger, Vhäldemar has found a middle ground in their Germanic influence, not detrimentally derivative of their forebears but definitely following right in line.
All but one of the genre hallmarks are here – soaring choruses that get stuck in your head, fleet-fingered and energetic guitar-work, lyrics about the metalness of metal and love for metal and metal forever and such… On a basic level, Metal Of The World isn’t original, by any stretch, but it’s impassioned. Vhäldemar works the standard formula expertly – the melodic guitar soloing can be quite tasty, and Alex de Benito’s drumming is spot-on. The whole record moves with an undeniable power metal spirit, it’s largely feel-good metal about feeling good because of metal.
But what of the one power metal component not present? Well, it’s that that separates Vhäldemar from their peers, and that that will likely divide listeners on the merits of Metal Of The World. Vocalist Carlos Escudero is more Mille Petrozza than Michael Kiske – he utilizes a thrashy rasp, scratchy and screeching, rather than the expected operatic wail. To these ears, that distinction is a welcome change – while his voice can be a bit grating, he can carry a tune and has enough pipes to sell these songs, and his approach lends Vhäldemar a ferocity and an edge that many power metal bands unfortunately lack.
Vhäldemar isn’t rewriting any books, necessarily, but what they do, they do well. These tunes sport multiple hooks, both vocal and musical, and Vhäldemar plays with such grin-inducing headbanging glee that it’s hard not to feel the fire. Those fans looking for a fist-in-the-air fix of quality metal about metal's best qualities will find much to love on Metal Of The World.
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