Metalium - Hero Nation - Chapter Three

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Massacre Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 57:47:00

Metalium = over-the-top, ambitious, heavy power metal of the highest order. A no holds barred kick in the arse for fans of power metal and a story that once again revisits the power and strength of heavy metal. "Watch, as the portal from the above world opens. A heart, soul, and mind of Metalian spirit enters. Reincarnated into historical bodies of those once admired or hated, preparing for what seems as - the end. His hero soul shall rule the cosmic historical reincarnations, the HERO NATION." Chapter Three it is, after the mind-blowing explosions of Millennium Metal (Chapter One) and State Of Triumph (Chapter Two).

The core group of Metalium have always been Henning Basse (v), Matthias Lange (g), and Lars Ratz (b) and Hero Nation presents new drummer Michael Ehre (ex-Murder One). The loss of Chris Caffrey (Savatage) from the first Metalium album saw the arrival of Jack Frost (Seven Witches) on the second. Jack's departure, with no replacement, left a hole that would be difficult for Metalium to make up for. Incredible twin guitar attacks like on the first two albums are rare, especially of that quality, and it was always going to be difficult for Metalium on this third album without a second guitarist. Metalium have, in some ways, covered it, but it is difficult for one man to develop and create the work of two in such a short space of time - and it shows on Hero Nation. Overall though, each member gets a turn at their specialty and they all work well together creating an exciting vibe.

But for those who don't care for the intricacies of bands and just want loud, overblown heavy power metal - then Metalium still delivers with a freshness that many still search for. Hero Nation is definitely not for the faint hearted, with a wall of sound that is only broken by the bulky ballad "Infinite Love" (Romeo & Juliet inspired). In fact, it is on that song that shows the lagging vocals of Henning Basse, as he cannot compare with German soprano Carolin Fortenbacher. It's easy to cover short-comings on loud albums (you just make the music louder), but on ballads it's a little more difficult and the marching anthemic music doesn't match the intimate, duet based song. A much better ballad (more a power ballad) is "Odin's Spell," which has classical leanings and dramatic poses.

As hinted above, the story is slightly different this time around with a time-travelling Metalian covering the gamut of historical figures. It's a very European flavoured storyline (a good thing) and at least shows some thought outside some traditional power metal bands. Two other guest musicians include the legendary Don Airey (Rainbow, Whitesnake, Ozzy) who has added the keyboards to the album and Ken Hensley (Uriah Heep) who has included some sporadic, slightly off-kilter Hammond Organ work. It doesn't always work here, but good on Metalium for trying.

I want to say that I really like the album, but it does have it's shortcomings that slightly injure, but not incapacitate, the album as a whole. The core elements are still there and performing well as can be heard in tracks such as "Accused To Be A Witch," "Rasputin," "In The Name Of Blood," and the incredible opener "Revenge Of Tizona." There's heaps of group choruses as there have always been with Metalium.

The last track, "Hero Nation," hides a 5 and a half minute bonus track related to a German boxing champion. A rock centred piece that is a fun diversion like their previous bonus tracks "Music" and "Smoke On The Water."

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Source Of Souls / Revenge Of Tizona / In The Name Of Blood / Raspuitin / Odin's Spell / Accused To Be A Witch / Throne In The Sky / Odyssey / Fate Conquered The Power / Infinite Love / Heronation / H.O.T.

Henning Basse - vocals
Matthias Lange - guitars
Lars Ratz - bass
Michael Ehre - drums


Don Airey - keyboards
Ken Hensley - Hammond organ

Millennium Metal (1999)
State Of Triumph (2000)
Hero Nation: Chapter Three (2002)
As One (2004)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin DE

Added: January 17th 2005
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website:
Hits: 805
Language: english


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