By Dr. Abner Mality

After a brief spoken intro, LIGHTBRINGER OF SWEDEN comes in with weapons hot, blazing away with a furious PRIEST/PRIMAL FEAR styled banger “The Beast Is Rising” and brother, does this get the head banging and fist pumping. The first part of “The New World Order” is chock full of these killer pure metal tunes...”Free The Angels” follows with another racing bit of straight metal with touches of power metal. The vocals of Herbie Langhans are outstanding for this kind of music...kind of smokey and bluesy but with occasional bursts of glass-breaking screams. He reminds me of the sorely overlooked R.D. Liapakis of MYSTIC PROPHECY, which is another band LIGHTBRINGER OF SWEDEN resembles.

“Heroes of the Past” has a great PRIEST-ish chug to it, but the power riffs under the screaming guitar solos are almost pure W.A.S.P. from their classic period. “Strike Back” is another PRIMAL FEAR kind of cut that you can’t go wrong with. Then the album begins to change with the power ballad “Where The  Eagles Fly”, which is very strong due to Langhans’ great vocals. It’s like the best of HAMMERFALL’s ballads, but the album starts to slow down quite a bit from there. “Lucifer” is the first average tune, too much like it’s predecessor but not as good. “Back From The Dead” and “The Caveman” are not ballads but have a crunchier, more mid-paced groove. The album ends with the high energy “Fly Away”, which takes us back to the first couple of tunes on the album and wraps things up on a strong, soaring note.

I don’t know if LIGHTBRINGER OF SWEDEN are rabid Christians, but I have never heard so many references to angels on any other album ever. Do they buy into the conspiracy theories about “The Antichrist” and “The New World Order”, or are they just using apocalyptic Christian imagery to tell a story? I can’t tell for sure but their angel obsession is overwhelming.

This is a really strong true metal/power metal album. It’s starts with unbelievable power and then kind of slows down and evens out for a bit, but all in all, I recommend band and album to fans of both traditional PRIEST/HELLOWEEN metal and the more modern power metal.