Battlegod Productions (2012)
When I first took a look at the title to this album from Norwegian sextet Cyclophonia, I thought we would be hearing another possible thrash act in the Exodus vein (since they used this title for their fourth album). Well thatmwould be so far away from their true calling- as this is a power metal band with strong guitar harmonies, traditional rhythms and two vocalists who hit all facets of their capabilities, including some soaring to the heavens passages that would make Tony Moore/Harry ‘The Tyrant’ Conklin fans bow down in glory.
8 songs in 35 minutes means the six-piece keep their focus on delivering immediate, hook-oriented riffs, twisting in their own dual harmonies from time to time as transitions while the drummer throws down steady double bass action. Acts like Jag Panzer, Heir Apparent, Crimson Glory, and Lost Horizon come to mind with songs such as “Hand Of The Righteous” and “Warbird”. The band will throw in lightning quick solo spots or stair step riffs, then quickly mutate into something mid-tempo and head crushing, before the marching charge begins again- with closer “Die By My Sword” the best evidence for this musical chemistry working to perfection.
Since I filled my youthful ears with the sound of traditional/power metal in the 80’s, it’s very refreshing when a band in current times can stand on par with some of the magic of that era like Cyclophonia. There are times when the dual vocalists may inject an awkward melody for a certain part, but 95% of this hits my heart and soul. Considering their roots go back to 1997 as a cover act (Helloween, Blind Guardian, Manowar and Riot factoring into their set lists), this debut album will be a beacon for those who miss musicians giving it their all- and given Riot’s future in limbo with Mark Reale’s untimely passing, the time could be ripe for “Impact Is Imminent” to slide into many playlists and stereos around the world.
Rating: 5.5 / 6
Composed by Matt Coe