You can think about METALIUM whatever you want, they have consistency and are back with their eighth regular studio album already and they are staying as true to their sound as they probably can, another thing that you can think about however you would like to. Power Metal is their game and they’ve stuck to their guns since they appeared in the scene twelve years ago (holy smokes, time flies!), with the expressive vocals of Henne Basse and the pure Power Metal riffing etc. So you can either call it consistent or stuck in time, in any way, though, they know their stuff and do it well.
“Grounded” is basically as cliché as they come, with song titles and lyrical content such as “Heavy Metal”, the pharaohs etc. etc. as well as the musical set up and at least they have toned down their own visual side a little, so if you hated them in the past, you will continue to hate them, if you have loved them so far, well, there is a pretty good chance that you still won’t hate them. METALIUM cover the main avenues, with double-bass driven firecrackers, mid-paced stompers and hymns and ballads, but…even though progression and evolution do not seem to exist in the Germans’ universe, they know what they do best and that’s to crank out quality Metal.
Be it the fast bangers such as “Heavy Metal”, “Pay For Fee” or “Once Loyal”, the dynamics of my personal favourite “Falling Into Darkness”, the pounding heaviness of “Pharos Slavery” and “Crossroad Overload” (great vocals on this one) or the ballad “Borrowed Time”, there are no experiments, but a no-frills approach that will grab you by the neck and bang your head. Not everything is gold, though, “Light Of Day” is a so-so affair and “Alone” also drags a little, but these are minor complaints, since the rest of the material is at least solid and above.
No surprises, neither positively nor negatively, quality Metal, now you decide if that is a good or bad thing.
(Online June 28, 2010)