Metalium - Millenium Metal
Massacre Records
Power Metal
14 songs (58:'57)
Release year: 1999
Metalium, Massacre Records
Reviewed by Crims
Archive review

To many, Metalium might seem like just another side-project, however, this is a full-time band despite most prominent members playing in other bands. On the first release, both Jack Frost and Chris Caffery have/had spent time in Savatage, and drummer Mike Terrana was a member of Malmsteen’s band. So what can one expect from Metalium on their debut? Well, it is obvious Metalium is heavily entrenched in Euro Power Metal, but there is a heavy German Speed Metal influence as well. The music itself isn’t the most original but the production and vocals really give Metalium their own feel.

Given the title, Chapter 1: Millenium Metal, you would be right in assuming this a concept CD. The story tells about the journey and tribulations of the Metalians who are involved in a quest for triumph among other fantasy related things. So of course, the CD opens up with the obligatory intro and goes into the super speedy, neck breaking song, Fight. Roaring guitars, soaring vocals, and pounding double bass populate this track- what a great way to open the disc! Dream Of Doom and Break The Spell are up next, and these tracks slow things down. While they do contain faster sections, overall they are more mid-paced with emphasis on vocal melodies, and hard rocking guitars. Yes, a lot of the mid-paced stuff has a Hard Rock/Heavy Metal feel to it, and the guitars have a nice crunch. Meanwhile, the guitars are more Speed/Thrash Metal like on the faster sections, which of course contain melodic leads and breaks woven into the riffs. I'll try not go into a track-by-track listing, but Millennium Metal, after Break The Spell, continues the trend of mid-paced songs with 1 or 2 fast parts, which are built up nicely, as well as some well-done galloping double bass as seen on Metalium. While I really like it when Metalium play fast, the vocals and arrangements are very pleasing on the slower (but not slow per-se) tracks; many memorable vocal lines are present, with quality drumming, guitar work, and bass work. After the power ballad like Metamorphosis, Metalium give us three fast tracks that are sure to please: Void Of Fire, Strike Down The Heathen, and Free Forever. The first two are double bass monsters with aggressive guitars and killer choruses, while the latter is heavily melodic, with the best vocals on the CD. As is demonstrated on a couple of songs, there are some back-up vocals used, but they do not appear that often... instead most songs opt for the doubling of the main vocals, sometimes at varying tones, which also works very well. The concept portion of the CD eventually ends with Metalians, which is another memorable track. After the story is complete, two covers are present. One of Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water which is one of the better covers I’ve heard, and the second is Accept’s Burning, which is another excellent cover.

As mentioned, the production is rather unique. I can’t quite explain it, but the feeling created seems very metallic in nature and somewhat raw, yet still accessable. The bass sound is really cool, and the drums sound nice and real, while also being at a good mix level. The vocals from Henning Basse are solid as well. He sings with both a higher pitched style, and a more toned down aggressive style. Either way Basse can really wail, and he can also soar when needed; all of which is performed with a lot of emotion. There are even times when Basse sounds like Michael Kiske! The guitar playing is well done with explosive solos and quality melodic sections, with the riffs driving each song; a tight rhythm section of course backs this up. When everything comes together Metalium create an interesting atmosphere for a Power Metal band, and even though the song elements might not be new, the feeling from their songs are (at least at the time of Millenium Metal's release).

There are no filler tracks on here; I enjoyed every one of them. Not one song sounds the same, as the arrangements are very clever and thought-out. I recommend this release to any fan of German Power or Speed Metal, especially if you’re one of those people who prefer no keyboards in their Power Metal.

Killing Songs :
Fight, Break the Spell, Revelation, Metamorphis, Void of Fire, Free Forever, Strike Down the Heathen, Metalians... and honorable mention for the two covers
Crims quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Metalium that we have reviewed:
Metalium - Incubus - Chapter VII reviewed by Marty and quoted 80 / 100
Metalium - Nothing To Undo reviewed by Chris and quoted 60 / 100
Metalium - Demons of Insanity: Chapter Five reviewed by Mike and quoted 49 / 100
Metalium - As One - Chapter Four reviewed by Jay and quoted 43 / 100
Metalium - Hero-Nation reviewed by Mike and quoted 82 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
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