Lancer – Second Storm


The artwork for Second Storm (Despotz) is so metal that it really raises expectations of balls-to-the-wall metal, and Lancer deliver. This Swedish Power Metal band takes inspiration from bands like Iron Maiden, Hammerfall, and Helloween, and this is apparent from the very first notes of ‘Running From The Tyrant’ onwards. Despite their classic substance, they have a pretty modern sound, with a number of breaks that are straight up hard rock. The solos may not be the most innovative ever, but they are solid, and similarly most of the melodies are not hugely original, but are certainly very catchy.

Isak Stenvall sings much of the album in the classic high and reedy power metal voice. He also uses his lower range, but this does not always pay off. It mostly works well when the rest of the music is softer, as in the excellent build-up in ‘Running From The Tyrant’. However, the vocals are a little uncontrolled at time, and this type of voice in particular sticks out when it is not 100% perfect.

One of the highlights of this album is the chorus of ‘Iwo Jima’, which is not only catchy, but has a very symphonic sound to it and especially good rhythmic drumming by Sebastian Pedernera. Another is the power provided by guitarists Fredrik Kelemen and Per-Owe Solvelius in ‘Steelbreaker’. Similarly pleasing is Emil Öberg’s excellent bass solo in ‘Fools Marches On’. ‘Eyes of the Liar’ is just quality sing-along metal.

My favourite song off this album is ‘Aton’. This nearly-10-minute song is slower than the others on this album, but incredibly good! It has a little less Power Metal in style, and a little more Classic Metal. I love the way the vocals have a higher pace than the music, because it makes the lines very energetic and catchy. Stenvall also shows that he really can pull off clarity in those lower ranges, holding his own even in the soft. There’s even a very bluesy solo, and I only wish the rest of the band had powered though in the second part of that solo.

All in all, Second Storm is a very solid Power Metal album that makes up for what it lacks in originality with enthusiasm and melodies that has the listener bouncing up and down in their seat.


Lancer on Facebook