Gloryhammer – Tales from the Kingdom of Fife

Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife
Released 1st April (UK)
Power Metal
Released via Napalm Records

Gloryhammer, a five piece power metal band, is the side project and brainchild of Alestorm‘s Christopher Bowes who swaps his pirate outfit and dons a suit of armor to tell us the story of a battle between good and evil on the bands debut concept album Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife. The story tells of how our hero Angus McFife fights the evil wizzard Zargothrax to free the oppressed people of Dundee, Scotland in a fantasy battle with unicorns, dragons, thunderbolts and lightening galore.

The album opens with an instrumental, a symphonic orchestral piece called Anstruther’s Dark Prophecy before blasting into track The Unicorn Invasion Of Dundee , the title alone brought a smile to my face I have to say. All the usual power metal attributes are here, big chugging guitar riffs and face melting solos (Paul Templing), thunderous double kick power drumming (Ben Turk), galloping bass runs (James Cartwright) and an added symphonic edge courtesy of the keyboards supplied by Christopher Bowes. The vocals are majestic, the voice of Thomas Winkler suits this genre of metal music perfectly.

Into the fray comes Angus McFife in the next track, a similar composition to the previous song, but more mid-paced with an anthemic chorus. The pace eases a bit on track four Quest For The Hammer Of Glory, McFife’s weapon of choice, a slower song that brings the quality of Thomas Winkler’s vocals to the fore. Next up is Magic Dragon a fast paced stormer which is probably the cheesiest track on the album lyric wise, but this is pure power metal heaven with a chorus that will have you punching the air and singing along with delight. Silent Tears Of Frozen Princess is the album’s obligatory power ballad, slow paced but none the less epic before normal service is resumed with the tracks Amulet Of Justice and the Sabatonesque war cry Hail To Crail.

Another instrumental follows in the form Beneath Cowdenbeath, a track which cries out for lyrics as I would like to know what goes on down there. The last track The Epic Rage Of Furious Thunder is by far the longest on the album, at over ten minutes, and it brings the curtain down perfectly in true power metal style with time changes, the addition of female vocals in the slower passages, awesome guitar work, great vocals and thunderous voices from above. Epic stuff.

If you are a fan of power metal, you’ll love this album. If not, you’ll overlook it as the normal cheesy and over the top music that, unfortunately, this genre of metal music has been tagged with but if you give it a listen with an open mind, which I suggest you do, you’ll hear that this is a very solid Metal album both musically and lyrically, even if a bit tongue in cheek at times, with a production and mix that is first class.

Hails to Gloryhammer, a power metal album of pure quality.


Ian Foster

One Response to “Gloryhammer – Tales from the Kingdom of Fife”

  1. Great review and I agree 100%.

    Despite the silliness, it’s a fantastically well made album and lots of fun, something that Mr Bowes clearly excels in.

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