POWER PALADIN “With the Magic of Windfyre Steel”
By Dr. Abner Mality
If you don’t have enough dragons, unicorns, wizards and general D&D cliches in your power metal, there is now POWER PALADIN from Iceland to help roll your polyhedral dice. No magic stone is left unturned in their quest to plunder every fantasy trope. These guys are HAMMERFALL on steroids.
The thing is, this has more energy and fire than any HAMMERFALL record since the very early 2000’s. They mine all the cliches of modern power metal but they do it with zest. Singer Atli Gudlaugsson has an unbelievably clear and powerful voice that makes Joacim Cans frankly sound like a croaking toad. That voice is heard nowhere better than the amazing first song here, “Kraven the Hunter”. Yep, right off the bat we’re deep into comic book lore. But what a track! So incredibly catchy and full of metallic joy and vigor. The guitarists shred like nobody’s business and the song just lodges itself in your brain. A power metal classic!
That’s the top track of the album beyond a doubt, but POWER PALADIN generally keep a super high level of energy as they whip through galloping fast tracks like “Evermore”, “Dark Crystal” and “Creatures of the Night”. Your eyes will roll as they delve into pure nerdery in RHAPSODY OF FIRE tradition, but c’mon, one look at the cover and the title of the album tells you exactly what’s going on here. It’s not like you’re going to be caught off guard by this album.
The album ends with two longer, more involved and more melodic epics, “Into the Forbidden Forest” and “There Can Be Only One”, where the keys take a more prominent position. POWER PALADIN are obviously trying to revive the HAMMERFALL tradition of power metal and with the bright-eyed enthusiasm they show here, who’s to say they won’t be able to do it?