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Metalium - Grounded

Label: Massacre
Format: CD download
Released: 2009
Reviewed By: Mark Gromen
Rating: 6/10

Been a while since I last checked in on Lars Ratz’ Teutonic power metal juggernaut. This is their eighth release since ’99 and while initially providing a respite for Chris Caffery, then Jack Frost, Ratz has retained the vocal star Henning Basse throughout the long running sci-fi concept.


Opening with is destined to be the in-concert intro for a long time, ‘Heavy Metal’ proudly proclaims, "We are heavy metal! If you don’t like it, fuck you!" A scorching Basse scream drives the point home. The music alternates between spirited power metal (‘Pay For Fee’, stratospheric vocal highs of ‘Falling Into Darkness’ and ‘Once Loyal’) and mid-tempo numbers needed to move the plot along, including a lame ‘Borrowed Time’ ballad. When it comes time to build the pyramids (as anyone who’s seen Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments can attest) ‘Pharos Slavery’, it’s grunts, whips and slave labor: all played out with sludgy, belabored tempo and accompanying sound effect. ‘Light Of Day’ is a modern, staccato riffster.

There’s a simplistic satisfaction in Metalium, regardless of buying into their saga. Workmanlike, yet never outstanding.

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