Let me begin with a personal statement: this is an album that impressed me since the very first listening and is without any doubt among this year’s most interesting ones.
Truth be told, I really wanted the dust to settle down, as TRIUMPHER really lived up to their name since their debut came out, absolutely TRIUMPHING in EVERY review!
Having said that, I must make clear that although I intentionally waited six whole months to pass before writing my opinion for “Storming the Walls”, the album still impresses me. In even more ways than it did at first.
The Forgotten Scroll Forum had given a lot of praise to it during all this time but what sticked in my mind has been the common opinion of how this is the REAL DEAL of true heavy metal.
First of all, “Storming the Walls” is the case of an album that its digital release meets such a warm, worldwide welcome by the fans that it simply couldn’t go unnoticed. Indeed, soon after TRIUMPHER delivered it, Floga Records released both compact disc and vinyl editions of it and the band’s current record company, No Remorse, has recently released a second press of compact disc -with new graphic design-, giving me the momentum needed for this review.
As for the band’s latest news, a small tease of pre-production process of their second album has been unleashed just a few days ago.
But let’s go back to the first album. Founding members of TRIUMPHER are Antonis Vailas aka Mars Triumph (bass, vocals) and Christoforos Tsakiroulos (guitars), both ex-members of SABOTER. TRIUMPHER’s other two members had been Apostolos Papadimitriou (guitars) and John Votsis aka Maelstrom (drums) while George Emmanuel (keyboards and synths) played an important contribution to the album’s sound.
To start from the basics, “Storming the Walls” is EPIC HEAVY METAL. I wouldn’t argue on terminology but I really want to emphasize these three words, hence written in capitals. “Storming the Walls” is definitively epic, certainly heavy and uncompromisingly metal in every sense. Not only do we hear a lot of MANOWAR’s influence in the songs’ rhythmic development but also in vocals range and intensity – there’s no such thing as easily resembling Eric Adams’ voice, so kudos to Mars Triumph for this achievement -among many others- too!
The diversity of the album is remarkable. Acoustic and choral parts, galloping riffs and blackened extreme performing alternate well-balanced throughout the tracklist. The GREATNESS of elegiac arrangements brought in my mind the mighty ATLANTEAN CODEX – “The Thunderer” starts exactly like that before unleashing a thunderstorm of power metal forceful speed together with an excellent chorus. Slow-paced melodies are ideally combined with furiously fast blasting or classical marching staccato; perfect examples of such arrangements are “Epitaphios” where we even hear a bone-chilling short recitation of Homer’s Iliad in Greek and of course, “Journey/Europa Victrix”, such an AMAZING opening for the album that it’s impossible to imagine what could possibly serve as a better one.
Still, the most dominant element of the album is its overall DARK, atmospheric feeling, intensified by very interesting lyrics about ancient Greek mythology, eternal philosophical questions and mystical fantasy themes. “The Blazing Circle” which closes the curtain is the epitome of such imposing gloom, being an ominously heroic song.
So, after all the above mentioned, what is it that impresses me even more as I’ve written in the beginning of this review?
Well, I also find “Storming the Walls” INGENIOUSLY made; meaning that I think it didn’t only come out after a lot of work and inspiration but also by pure musical intelligence.
Yes, that sets the bar REALLY high for TRIUMPHER’s sophomore album but we can only wait and see them return the next year as promised; hopefully triumphant once again!
Check the discussion about the album in our forum pages.