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Cryonic Temple - 'Into The Glorious Battle' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 12, 2018    
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I am very impressed.

After a nine year absence, Swedish Power Metallers Cryonic Temple have returned with their fifth studio album, the successor to 2008's 'Immortal'. In that time the band has undergone major line-up changes, with only guitarist and founding member Esa "Freewheeler" Ahonen remaining. I have to say that I was more than a little sceptical when I first read that 'Into The Glorious Battle' was a concept album. However, one play of this record and my fears were alleviated, as Cryonic Temple followed the two main rules when producing a concept album; firstly, they did not over complicate the storyline (a war set some time in the future), and secondly, and most importantly, they produced songs that can stand alone.

'The Beginning Of A New Era' is a two and half minute instrumental intro leading into 'Man Of A Thousand Faces', the first of several Power Metal onslaughts featuring the twin guitar attack of Ahonen and Markus "Grune" Grundström. The double-kick drum also gets some serious pounding throughout, courtesy of Micke Dahlkvist, aptly nicknamed "Rapid Fire". The rhythm section is completed by Roland Westborn. 'All The Kingsmen' and 'Prepare For War' continue the offensive on the senses, however, the combination of power and melody is delivered in equal and impressive measures.

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The foot comes off the gas for the first time with 'Heroes Of The Day', but it highlights that vocalist Mattias Lilja (also credited with playing piano) is equally adept whatever the tempo of the song. The band hit full-throttle again with the ultra-melodic 'Mighty Eagle' and 'Into The Glory Battle', the thunderous 'Mean Streak', and then hit warp speed with 'Flying Over The Snowy Fields' and 'Can't Stop The Heat'. 'This War Is Useless' is poignant and precedes the crunching riffs within 'Heavy Burden'; the latter juxtaposed to the final track, which features a fantastic solo from Ahonen. 'Freedom', although not Power Metal per se, is a fitting way to conclude a fabulous album.

Throughout, this well produced album has time to breathe and the band put the plot over to the listener with great ease, which, for a Power Metal concept album, is no mean achievement. Although unfamiliar with their earlier material, and after reading about the band, this is the most melodic album they appear to have released to date. I, for one, am very impressed.

Mark Donnelly

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