6/2/2006 - Review by: Eric Compton
Viron - NWOGHM - 2006 - Sonic Age
Viron are one incredible force both musically and vocally. It has been a rather dry year in my opinion for power metal thus far and this debut couldn't have come at a better time. "NWOGHM" is an amazing feat of strength, a traditional soundscape that soaks up much of the '80s metal movement while still entertaining today's production strengths. At times the band reminds me of older sounds like Savage Grace and Omen, and on other selections the group captures the essence of today's power metal scene by bringing to mind Iron Savior and Hibria. Vocalist Alex Stahl is a cross between Iron Savior's Piet Sielck and Force Of Evil/Iron Fire frontman Martin Steene. Stahl has amazing ability with his voice, delivering fast vocal melodies that soar into falsetto range.
This band makes a killing off of driving guitar rhythms and catchy hooks. On cuts like "Ride On" it sounds as if the band has made a junction stop at the Running Wild owned "Port Royal". The group move through some ultra-fast twin guitar melody and harmony, an obvious by-product of Feucht's fascination with early Metallica and Children Of Bodom. On songs like "Viron" and "For Her Majesty" the band breaks into thunderous groove passages, almost a bone rattling backdrop for a new Dio track. My favorite parts of the album are the mid to fast tempo tracks, highlights being the roaring "Bound To Die" and the quick dash "Blow The Fuse". The Germans also do some slower experimentation with the Blind Guardian inspired "Winds Of Valhalla". Also the release provides one scorching solo in the oddly titled "Instrumental".
Bottom Line - Possibly the best power metal release of the year and arguably the best album on the Sonic Age roster OTHER than Overlorde's gem "Return Of The Snow Giant".
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