VICTORY – “Gods of Tomorrow”
By Colonel Angus
Herman Frank is back with another release from VICTORY. This is the second album for 2021 from this guitarist who released “Two For a Lie” earlier. That was a great record but this one is also is a big improvement over the decade old “Don’t Talk Science”. It may be due to some new blood in the band or maybe time reenergized Frank to come up with tunes that keep the VICTORY flame alive but somehow sound fresh. “Don’t Talk Science”, while a good release, seems a little straight forward and didn’t add much new to the catalogue. Some bands can get away with that like AC/DC and MOTORHEAD but even then, those two bands come up with something that rises above their usual material.
“Gods of Tomorrow” still has that great 80s metal vibe but with some extra conviction and swagger that VICTORY’s best material contained. Things start off with a little intro that ushers in a grooving rock track called “Love & Hate”. Once the band hits their stride during the beginning riffs of this opening cut, they don’t let up until the final note of the closing “Leave You Alone”. The melody and groove are relentless throughout but you still get a great song order that takes you on a ride. The title track kicks it up a notch with its fast riffing but still keeping it catchy and melodic. “Into The Light” and “My Own Desire” follow in those same footsteps but with a slightly slower pace. “Dying in Your Arms” slows things down early in the running order but the main meat of “Gods of Tomorrow” is chunky guitar heavy riffs with soaring leads. My favorites (at least at this time) are “Cut to the Bone”, “Mad” and “My Own Desire” but those have changed since I started listening the whole album. Quite honestly, all the songs are great and the only downside is the little intro at the beginning which I get that it provides drama for the opening of the record. I find that once I play “Gods of Tomorrow”, I am listening to the whole thing and not skipping around which is the true blue sign of a good disk.
Even though Frank is the only guy from the earlier incarnation (he came in after their debut), there is still a consistency in their 80s metal vibe. Gianni Pontillo is a great replacement for Jioti Parcharidis and I feel that his vocal performance here helps reinvigorate their sound. There is a sense of conviction in his vocals that makes us believe that he means what he sings. None of it smacks of “going through the motions” just to get a paycheck which adds to the overall effect of the record. The band sound like they are having fun and are inviting us along for the ride. The whole band starting with rhythm section Malte Frederik Burkert and Michael Stein, through to the twin guitar attack of Frank and Mike Pesin, with Pontillo’s vocals on top bring a lot of fun back into the metal world which recently is sorely missed. When I listen to “Gods of Tomorrow”, I’m transported to a place where the metal was loud and proud without the outside world ruining it for me. It may have taken a decade for VICTORY to release this album but I hope we won’t have to wait until 2031 for their next release.