Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Claymore - Sygn (2008)

Alright, look, everyone, the angels with ripped wings on the cover? It's been done. Too many times. Please stop. It's really just tacky now.

Fortunately, the sophomore effort from Germans The Claymore is a decent melodic power metal record with a lot of talent in the riffing. The vocals of Andreas Grundmann are slightly underpowered, but he's got a good voice overall rooted in the classics like Geoff Tate and Bruce Dickinson. The lyrics are based in fantasy, philosophy and theology.

The first few tracks "The Angel's Assassination" and "Slaine the Almighty" are passable efforts with an uplifting, glorious tone. But "Guardian of Time" stands out for its infectious riff. "Eternal Glory" is another excellent tune with a very Dickinson-like chorus and some great guitars, as is the epic title track. "Soulseeker" is likewise very catchy.

If you prefer your power metal to have a lot of classic appeal, i.e. Iron Maiden style melody and vocals then this is certainly a band you might enjoy. I can't give the album top marks, because the quality of tracks is inconsistent. There are a few tunes here that I absolutely loved, but 2-3 where I just have to press 'skip'. Tracks like "Guardian of Time" and "Eternal Glory" prove that we've got a top notch European power metal band in the works though, and the fact that they don't just ape the legions of more anthemic bands should work in their favor. Give them a chance, this is far better than their debut and shows a ton of promise.

Verdict: Win [7/10]
(needs better cover art, though, seriously)

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