|Release Date||17 January 2020|
Everyone’s favourite DragonForce that isn’t DragonForce is back once more! Following the ridicularity (is that a word?) that was 2018’s Dinosaur Warfare – Legend of the Power Saurus, Victorius continue with their parody approach to shining power metal in Space Ninjas from Hell. Some will be quick to disregard the album as a Gloryhammer ripoff, but that isn’t really fair. Just because Gloryhammer are the best at being nonsensical doesn’t mean other bands can’t try!
For me, Space Ninjas from Hell doesn’t hold a flame to, say, Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards. I don’t hate this album by any stretch, but, ultimately, it’s lyrically underwhelming. It should go without saying, but the thing about parody music, and especially power metal, is that lyrics are very important (well, kind of the most important). The genre demands that the cheese be dialed up to a fucking million, shamelessly holding nothing back. It’s such an easy genre to turn ridiculous, because it’s more-or-less already there. All you have to do is come up with some loosely clever lyrics and create fun melodies and, boom, you’re in. What Victorius have done here, though (and Dinosaur Warfare suffered from this, too) is try too hard to be random in some instances. There are definitely some excellent moments, as well as a lot of the song titles, but a good portion of the songs seem forced. Additionally, the melodies get old really quick, and they haven’t really changed at all in the band’s history, which doesn’t help when your music relies on a charismatic vocal delivery.
All this being said, the metal aspects are stronger than Victorius have ever been. There’s a good variety of dynamic tracks, solid riffage, and the solos are great. Plus, the whole Japanese theme works perfectly with the Victorius sound, too. As far as tracks go, my favourites include the entirety of ‘Cosmic Space Commando Base’ (which is also my favourite song title) and parts of ‘Evil Wizard Wushu Master’, but the guitars are on point for the whole fucking album. Oh, and that cheesy synthwork in ‘Shuriken Showdown’ really works for me, too.
All in all, this album is enjoyable. Dedicated Victorius fans will adore this album, and cheeselovers such as myself will get something out of a few spins. If Victorius do decide to continue down this path of humour, their success will rely on a little less effort and a little more melodism.
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