Millennium Metal (Pavement)
by Scott Hefflon
Germany has a long history of melodic heavy metal, and Metalium are poised to bring it into the new century. Assembling what bio-writers love to call “an all-star line-up,” founder and bassist Lars Ratz culls members of Savage and Yngwie/Gamma Ray, not to mention vocalist Henning Basse, who someone somewhere said was the best metal singer in ten years. All that said, Metalium follows the formula set by the greats, and perhaps in time will become great themselves. Seeing as this is their debut (at least for North America), it’s OK that it’s self-produced and has a few edges still sticking out (occasional “man, those cymbals are too loud, huh?” and “yeah, the drummer’s good, but why does he overpower the guitars? Oh, it’s cuz they’re just chugging kinda dull rhythms, nevermind.”), and they don’t exactly write the most memorable songs. They obviously have the chops, they just don’t really stand alongside bands like Stratovarious, Gamma Ray, and the whole new slew of good powermetal bands out there.
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