You've got to give Thomas Chr. Hansen credit: he continues to persevere with his project, Gaia Epicus. Again, entering the studio with no coherent 'band,' only himself and a drummer form the core, Hansen succeeds in creating Damnation a fine platter of melodic power metal, probably his most coherent and ambitious work yet. Much of this can be attributed to some powerful and memorable arrangements, but also to Hansen bringing on some talented musicians to flesh out the sound. Notables include: Roland Grapow (Masterplan, et al), Dominique Leurquin (Rhapsody Of Fire) and Lasse Jensen (Oceans Of Time) on lead guitar, Andreas Olsson (Narnia, Harmony, Divinefire) on bass, and Michael Troy (Malmsteen) on keyboards. Ola HalÚn of Insania provides the vocals this time with some additional help from Cathrine Solhaug Storli.
Overall, I found Damnation to be a sturdy and powerful effort from Hansen and company. The disc moves quickly without the digressions of monotony common in generic euro-power metal. Gaia Epicus' draws upon its main strengths to deliver this accomplishment impressive vocal arrangements and compelling arrangements. On the latter, the compositions are powerful and often varied (as far as usual power metal goes) with doses of progressive to be found as found on 'The Savior.'
But generally Gaia Epicus thrives on massive melodies, bright keyboards and ripping guitar solos to create dynamic power metal. Noteworthy pieces include 'Damnation,' 'A Hero In All' and 'Masters Of The Sea.' Hansen even treads the hallowed ground of traditional heavy metal on the catchy 'You Are A Liar.' Things get a little weird on the lyrical side especially on cheesy B-movie song, 'Cyborgs From Hell,' and the spiritually nebulous 'Salvation Is Here.' However, both songs are epic and quintessential power metal.
Gaia Epicus's Damnation is hearty, tried and true, melodic power metal, no more and no less. And that's enough for me. If you dig it then, you'll love Damnation. Very recommended.
Gaia Epicus's Damnation is hearty, tried and true, melodic power metal, no more and no less. And that's enough for me. If you dig it then, you'll love Damnation.
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