Grimgotts – Lions of the Sea (Stormspell Records)Friday, 24th November 2017
Perpetually the eager beavers, Grimgotts started off 2017 with their third EP, after two EPs back in 2016. So it should come as no surprise that we are capping off the year with Grimgotts’ first foray into the full-length department. Lions of the Sea should find a welcome home in any who have been following the band to this point, as well as those looking for solid, fantastical power metal.
That’s not to say that Lions of the Sea simply beats the same drum as that of its predecessors. There’s been some clear progression and expansion of the Grimgotts sound for this full-length, and all of the additions seem to be in the band’s favor. First off, the band (perhaps only for this album) has moved away from the straight fantasy approach and has moved their journey into a seafaring one. Their light-hearted nature still a piece of the band, though it still feels deadly serious at times. Admittedly, one may not hear it in a more ‘cheesy’ sounding moments, such as “The Sad King” or “Jonas,” but the band can hit some adventurous heights with triumphant material like “Shanghai” and “The Bright Lights.” The bombast still makes for some very entertaining sing-a-longs, with “Find Your Way” being a standout, alongside “Golden Shores;” both of which employing some driving guitar riffs to hold things up on the metallic end. The other notable difference is that of vocalist Andy Barton, who uses more low-register vocals (going so far as to toss in a few growls on “Golden Shores”) in addition to the more traditional power metal faire. It adds some variety and power, and fits the music quite well.
Grimgotts succeed with their first full-length. They’ve managed to step up their game in several ways while staying true to what they’ve established in previous EPs. Lions of the Sea is a catchy and fun piece of power metal for those who crave the feeling of adventure in their music.