What's this? Another power metal band from Germany, and from Saxony to be more specific. You don't say? I do say. Yes indeed, boys and girls. I give you Victorius, hoping to conquer the German, European, and worldwide heavy metal arena, in that order, with their second effort The Awakening.
The plain fact of the matter is that Victorius is pretty damn good at their chosen genre, even if it is rather derivative. They're following power metal giants like Mystic Prophecy,Stormwarrior, Hammerfall, and Gamma Ray with deftness and aplomb. Actually, at times, they sound like a heavier, more intense, version of Supreme Majesty, if you recall that band. (I miss them.)
When it comes to power metal getting the formula is generally easy; amp up the traditional heavy metal with some speed. But the real factor, 'the rub,' so to speak, is making your sound, your metal, epic or simply generally bombastic and powerful. Frankly, Victorius gets it. Through the Dead Lands, Demon Legions, Lake of Hope, and Starfire deliver the power metal philosophy with vigor.
Blistering rhythm section? Check. Ripping guitar work? Check. Clean and soaring vocals? Also check. Speed, groove, melody, and harmony? Check them all. Variation and inventiveness, something novel from the norm? Not so much. Maybe Starfire, Demon Legions, or Black Sun. Yet The Awakening still sounds good. But, ultimately, I don't think Victorius has any desire to re-imagine the power metal wheel, just keep it rolling for the legion of headbangers who still love this genre. If some of those aforementioned bands drop from the scene, these youngsters could easily pick up the slack. Victorius's The Awakening is the real power metal deal, and easily recommended to connoisseurs of the same.