To say that everything about UK's Dakesis, and their premier album Trial By Fire, is over-the-top is probably not saying enough. Adding adjectives like epic or extravagant, or pompous and tongue-in-cheek, would also be adequate.
Trial By Fire is nothing less than grandiose power metal; effectively, I think that's what Dakesis was attempting to achieve. Imagine Bach or Beethoven matched with Iron Maiden in Wagnerian context. Creepy and epic at the same time. On Wings of Steel, Valhalla, and To The End certainly aspire to exceptional power metal theater.
But Dakesis and Trial By Fire is not without warts. Wayne Dorman's vocals are unpleasing and forgettable. If not for Gemma Lawler backing him up, and upstaging him, the vocal arrangements would be a equally forgettable. It's not that he can't sing, but someone should tell him to stop. Also, the production is shallow; it's clear, yet still sounds soft and muted. Then there's the album art. There's something wrong about the warrior woman on the cover; her head appears disproportionate to her body. Creepy.
Nevertheless, all this could be the measure of Dakesis secret plan: so akin to early Eighties DIY metal projects to inspire intrigue and grins. Ultimately, Dakesis has the talent and enthusiasm to deliver the power metal goods. If you feel guilty about experiencing the campiness of Dakesis, I say indulge yourself and don't look back. Recommended.