Finally also the Epic Metallers of ZANDELLE have managed to get a real deal. Finest US-Metal in the tradition of old heroes like OMEN, EXXPLORER, WARLORD or FATES WARNING is the thing of the Americans. Their hymns of steel are displayed very old school-like with power and passion and I am sure that the underground will benignly celebrate this record. But ZANDELLE won't ever get mega sellers. Not that they were too complex or unmelodic, but just not mass-compatible enough.
And on their third album ZANDELLE prove that they are worthy of continuing the legacy of the heroes of the Eighties. They scream, they break, they praise the Metal-god that it's thundering. Poserheads are severed and the trend-hordes are slaughtered! Of course only symbolically! Surprisingly many acoustic parts baffle me time and again. I had a memory of them being heavier and more riffing from their last work "Shadows Of Reality". But a song like "Eternal Love" would not work heavier. No crap, one of the best half-ballads since ages. I could cry, this song is so beautiful.
But also other tracks have their moments. Apart from the slightly tralala-like chorus in the opener "Warlords Of Steel" we only get true steel. There we get the epic-hammer "The Champion" or the driving "Lord Of Thunder", which are among the very best that I could hear this year so far. Or the 12-minute title track is more than just worth listening. Gigantic and incredibly facetful! This is the way Metal has to sound, say I as old US-Metal frek! Because all that pathetic happy-stuff from Germany, Italy or Scandinavia does not reach the intensity of ZANDELLE!
Sure there will be enough people out there, who will damn the US-sound and call it old-fashioned crap, but who cares. Everybody his favourites. I also know someone, who hardly can on most (proggy) US-bands and almost hates bands like HELSTAR, FATES WARNING or ONWARD (Hello Hawk!). (Online November 12, 2002)