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Gaia Epicus - Damnation

Label: Epicus Records
Format: CD
Released: 2009
Reviewed By: Mark Gromen
Rating: 7/10

Norwegian power metal, a country more known for the black arts, yet this marks the fourth outing by Gaia Epicus, now basically a two-man operation. Given their musical output, most would pinpoint the duo as Teutonic, speedy melodies (with a hint of COB keyboard backing). Alongside Masterplan/former Helloween guitarist Roland Grapow, who adds a solo to the opening titular tune, there’s a parade of various B-level guests, including once or current members of Insania, Treasure Land as well as Luca Turilli and Rob Rock solo bands.


Unfortunately, the vocals seem like they were recorded at the distant end of a fjord, echoing in a deep hole (particularly noticeable on the mid-tempo later half of 8:53 lead track. ‘Masters Of The Sea’ appears an attempt to jump aboard the pirate-metal trend, while ‘A Hero In All’ is a slice of old school metal. Elsewhere we’ve got the sci-fi ‘Cyborgs From Hell’, a Hammond organ punctuated apolitical ‘You Are A Liar’, the climate change/warning ‘Firestorm’ and a smatter of religious philosophy (‘Damnation’, ‘The Savior Will Come’ and ‘Salvation Is Here’).

For good measure, ‘The Wizard’s Return’ is a Dragonforce inspired instrumental. Even with the cheesy lyrics to the aforementioned ‘Liar’: which includes "Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, You’re a liar, pants on fire!" this is a marked improvement over their ’07 "Victory" album.

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