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Lancer - 'Second Storm' http://mail.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/63/bd/f1/Lancer-Second-Storm-15-1442082105.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 12, 2015    
 
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This is certainly a good Metal record to be blasted through your speakers and enjoyed.

The cover artwork of Lancer's self-titled debut depicted a futuristic ostrich shooting laser beams out of its eyes. Now, with their second album, it's the same ostrich trampling down the remains of its defeated "robo-enemies". This young Metal band from Sweden returning with this sophomore effort 'Second Storm' so as to prove that there's nothing bad in re-producing the old clichés, as long as good music is the final product of the process.

Their penchant for Sci-Fi and ornithology aside, from the first seconds of the album's first two tracks 'Running From The Tyrant' and 'Iwo Jima', it becomes obvious that music-wise Lancer also hasn't changed their ways much since their 2013 debut album. Well, perhaps minus the silly glove puppets from their 'Young And Alive' video. It's mostly about standardized Power Metal gallops with high-pitched vocals and an awful lot of Iron Maiden-esque references (Isak Stenvall's hairdo being just one of many). Clichéd...? Well, definitely so – as is the entire Power Metal genre, with just a few estimable exceptions. But some of us have grown up with 'The Number Of The Beast' and some of us saved our lunch money for months to become proud owners of 'Keeper Of The Seven Keys'.

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Those fans will love the rich, monumental twin guitar attack of 'Masters And Crowns' and the furious pounding of the spectacularly tight rhythm section that drives 'Behind The Walls'. 'Aton' is the longest track on the album, and simultaneously also its ultimate highlight, as it combines nifty instrumental work with frequent changes of pace and intensity, all embroidered with perfectly crafted melody. 'Children Of The Storm' could have been mistaken for a once-shelved-and-now-unearthed outtake of any old Hammerfall album; nevertheless, the almost-Operatic vocal harmonies throughout the entire track are nothing but amazing. 'Steelbreaker' hurtles forward at breakneck speed, followed by the dark-ish, atmospheric piece 'Eyes Of The Liar' with majestic choruses and again, very well-performed vocal parts. 'Fools Marches On' ends the album on a high note, rocketing rather than marching into its six minutes of guitar-laden madness.

The first words that come to mind while looking at Lancer's cover artwork whilst filling the air with their galloping guitar passages may be "generic" and "clichéd", that is true. But also true is the fact that you should acquiesce to your inner Power Metal fan's demands and give 'Second Storm' a try anyway. While there's not much of novelty here, the sound of Lancer's second album is dynamic yet melodic, the guitar work fittingly intense with the vocal parts strong and harmonic.

Innovative it is not, but this is certainly a good Metal record to be blasted through your speakers and enjoyed.

Alexandra Mrozowska

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