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Zandelle - Vengeance Rising Review

by Daniel Walker

Power metal today can often be characterized as but a cinder of a once burning flame. Bands often forget about the attribute of the genre's namesake: power. Instead, they're giving more power to the 'flower', and flower metal is something that leaves many of us wanting more. Zandelle is one of the bands who would rather keep the power in power metal.

Limb Music Products is overflowing with power metal bands, but Zandelle is most likely the truest and most METAL out of the whole lot. A comprehensive Myspace sampling of the label will confirm this. With all due respect to the other power metal bands on LMP(and there are some good ones), you really can't find a band with this traditional sound. Just about everyone else is opting for that modern, slick sound that unexplainably shrinks your balls after you listen to it. The doctors are just dumbfounded.

Vengeance Rising is the invigorating follow-up to Twilight on Humanity, which made a splash in 2002. This album can basically be summed up by some lyrics on the interlude track "Invitation": "Come now and listen to legends and history; heroes and demons and devils and gods. Come here our stories of valor and infamy. Tales of the past that was both near and far." The themes here cover some of the more violent stories of classic literature and history. Track 6 begins the Beowulf trilogy and "Queen Anne's Revenge" is an exciting tale of Blackbeard's rampages along the mid-Atlantic coast and his sudden death in 1718 from multiple wounds (read the lyrics to find out how many).

Zandelle puts so much passion and oomph into their performances, and you may feel your fist rising to the air without your consent. Hopefully, you won't break anything. George Tsalikis is a powerhouse vocalist whose air-raid sirens evoke early Geoff Tate or Dickinson and his evil cackle will bring glee to the metal heart. The guitar work is clearly thrash-influenced, with some solid soloing and pinch harmonics, and even some slap bass. "Vengeance Rising" is probably the best example of adrenaline-pumping thrash riffing.

Twilight on Humanity had a few ballads, but none can be found here. It's probably for the best because the obligatory "We're power metal and we have to do at least one ballad" routine is a dead horse. Nevertheless, the epic "Necromancer" adheres to the other unwritten law. Too bad they overplay that outro riff for far too long. Not only that, but they feel the need to interject silly noodling after each abrupt stop, changing it each time. Not the best epic, guys. Try again next album.

Besides that minor quibble, this is one hell of an album and arguably one of the most fun releases to come out in recent memory. Hail US power metal!

1. Blood Red Shores- 4:34
2. Dragon's Hoard- 6:09
3. Invitation- 1:24
4. Queen Anne's Revenge- 5:11
5. The Final Hour- 5:04
The Beowulf Trilogy
6. I. Awakening-1:46
7. II.Vengeance Rising- 3:55
8. III. Ancient Tale of Valor- 6:55
9. Cry for Vengeance- 6:12
10. Prophecy- 4:59
11. Necromancer- 9:21

Originally written for metal-archives.com

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Zandelle - Vengeance Rising

Label:Limb Music Products

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