By Dr. Abner Mality

I am diabetic. That would not seem to be germane in the review of a metal album, but it is. Because "Nemesis" is the heavy metal equivalent of a carload of cotton candy topped off with sugar frosting. It is sugary and sweet enough to almost put me in a blood sugar coma just listening to it. Now this would ordinarily be a bad thing, but wonder of wonders, this thing is so deliriously happy and so ridiculously peppy that I find myself smiling through most of it.

This is the fourth SKELETOON album and the fact they call their particular brand of power metal "nerd metal" tells you a lot. This is some sort of a grand galactic superhero concept and that, too, would usually make me say "oh,brother". But there's something super infectious about SKELETOON's approach to power metal. It's the happiest and fastest parts of HELLOWEEN, EDGUY and even DRAGONFORCE all rolled together. First real track "Brighter Than 1000 Suns" is happy metal at warp speed, with the sort of sugary uplifting choruses and high pitched singing we've come to expect from Euro power metal. There are some slower and chunkier moments, like the title track, but mostly these tunes blaze along, peppered with well-played guitar solos and keyboard flourishes. Now by the end of the album, the approach is exhausting and many will be the grumpy metalheads who resist SKELETOON's flash and shine. But I found it rather charming, if overbearing at times.

What the lyrics are about, I couldn't tell you, but when you have a track called "The Nerdmetal Superheroes", it's not gonna be anything too existential and dour. Many bands would crash and burn doing this style of music, but somehow SKELETOON delivers the goods.