With each release, I seem to be enjoying this band more and more. Now, every fan in the Power Metal world knows what to expect from these guys when you see the titles. Sure, this reeks of cheesiness, but they never said that they were trying to reinvent the wheel. The title track opens not necessarily with rip roaring riffs and lightning quick double bass drumming, but it's slower paced and heavy as hell. Niklas' vocals come off many a time like Klaus Meine from THE SCORPIONS. The dual guitar work from founding member Fredrik Nordström and Gus G. flourish with awesomeness and don't forget Snowy Shaw's killer drum skills. When you hear Niklas scream “METAL“ in the opening passage, you know exactly what is going to come your way for the next hour. Sure, you can call it lame and unoriginal, but this is nothing more than having a good time.
What I noticed here is that the disc slowly builds up in terms speed and power. When we enter into “The Sledge“, the guitars pack more power and the drums try to knock you on your ass. There are many songs on here that could be Metal anthems much in the vein of MANOWAR. For those of you who savour thick bass lines that run all over the song will enjoy “Crusader's Anthem.“ This one packs quite a punch. You get nothing but twelve monstrous tracks that are guaranteed to shake your speakers thanks to the superb production of Fredrik. Normally, a disc like this wouldn't really stand out amidst the tons of bands playing this exact type of Metal, but since this is a super group featuring Fred, Snowy and Gus these guys should survive just fine.
The production is top notch; the songs are quick and memorable. The catchy riffs are fun to listen to and make an impact on your stereo system. I think that if this band had existed back in the 80's when it was a rising trend and if they could have had a production like this, then they would have been the kings of Metal even more so than MANOWAR or HELLOWEEN. This band would have set the standard in Metal. If you need more of an incentive for buying this, then perhaps a video for the title track might entice you and it also comes with a free 60 minute DVD. (Online September 26, 2004)