Review: Lancer – Second Storm

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Most of us will know the heavy and Powermetal that originated from Germany. With bands like Helloween, Primal Fear and many others the soaring vocals and fast, technical music has become well known all around the world. But sometimes there are new bands that tap into this particular barrel of inspiration to create new music. The Swedish Lancer is one of those bands. By using the old-school Powermetal, but giving it a modern touch on ‘Second Storm’.

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Lancer from left to right: Isak Stenvall (vocals), Emil Öberg (bass), Fredrik Keleman (guitar), Sebastian Pedernera (drums) and Per Owe “Ewo” Solvelius (guitar)

After their self-titled debut, released in 2013, the band has already convinced many people to become their fans. But a band really needs to focus up for the second album. If you sustain that momentum, you can truly lay your foundations for a positive future. And that is exactly what the “Ostrich Brigade” as Lancer call themselves, is doing.

All the well-known heavy and Powermetal bands that I mentioned before, and many more, are recognizable on ‘Second Storm’. The vocals of Isak Stenvall range from a bit of the older Helloween, to the well-known Stratovarius, and the modern music of the Greek Firewind. If you know your way around this genre, you might know that the high, soaring vocals are almost a must. That’s exactly what Stenvall does best.

It’s not like everything Isak Stenvall touches turns to gold. There are some parts in which his vocals are going very high, but also sound unpleasant. It’s some kind of sharp edge to it that makes you think he sings too high. This is mostly the case on the refrain of ‘Behind The Walls’, which is not the best song on the album, that’s for sure.

LANCER Alt 4One other negative thing that I’m going to point out is the track ‘Steelbreaker’. I already stated before that this band sounds like a lot of other bands in the genre. One of my personal favorites is Primal Fear. When I first heard Lancer’s ‘Steelbreaker’ its title reminded me of Primal Fear’s ‘Chainbreaker’. Only after listening to the song it sounds almost completely the same! The refrain is the same and the timing is, almost, identical! That’s not a good thing, that’s close to ripping the band off.

Fortunately the positive side of this album is much brighter than the negative side is dark! ‘Second Storm’ contains some high quality stuff. Opener ‘Running From The Tyrant’ immediately sets the pace, but it’s not the best example of the album. ‘Iwo Jima’, the second song, definitely is. With a fantastic, catchy refrain and nice up-tempo riffs this track is very good. ‘Masters And Crowns’ is almost one on one a Helloween song. Which isn’t a bad thing, on the contrary. It’s a huge compliment if your work is worthy of those long-lasting bands.

The absolute highlight of this album is something I don’t think I heard before. It’s a ten minute long, intriguing and fascinating Powermetal track. ‘Aton’ is exactly why this band will probably be going places. It’s catchy, it’s sung wonderfully and has this brilliant refrain. Also, Stenvall’s remains an amazing vocalist if he lowers his voice. The guitars by Per-Owe “Ewo” Solvelius and Fredrik Kelemen is really dragging you deeper into this song. They support the vocals amazingly, while delivering some amazing solo work as well.LANCER Logo

Lancer is a band that definitely should go and make it. They just do a lot of things right! If they would not rip off another band again and keep it to the things they do well. Maybe a little bit more of the lower register vocals would be good as well, just instead of the really, really high stuff. This band is delivering a Powermetal record to remember. ‘Second Storm’ is finger-licking good!

8,5

Released: 10 April 2015
Record-label: Despotz Records
Website: http://www.lancermetal.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lancermetal

Tracklist:

  1. Running From The Tyrant
  2. Iwo Jima
  3. Masters And Crowns
  4. Behind The Walls
  5. Aton
  6. Children Of The Storm
  7. Steelbreaker
  8. Eyes Of The Liar
  9. Fools Marches On

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