This album was released quite a while ago but somehow I never got round to buying it. Metalium is a project band Chris Caffery (guitar, from Savatage), Mike Terrana (drums, from Malmsteen, MacAlpine, Artension, lots of others) and Henning Basse (vocals) are in, together with Lars Ratz on bass and Matthias Lange on second guitar.

When you find Mike Terrana in the playing credits, you can bank on the drums being heavy as hell and furious as f*@k. And they are. The production is top-notch, too. Musically, there is nothing to complain about Metalium. There are up-tempo rockers like "Fight", anthem-like tracks like "Free Forever" and the thrashy "Strike Down the Heathen". All songs are written around the glory of metal, which peaks at the very end of the album with Mike's pro-metal orations. There's also a ballad, "Metamorphosis". Weak link on the album is vocalist Henning Hesse. I mean he's not actually atrocious or irritating, but he definitely holds back the end result. I guess if you listen to "Millennium Metal - Chapter One" and don't dislike the vocals, this is a sure good buy.

The album closes off with an energetic cover of Deep Purple's archetypal rock anthem "Smoke on the Water". It's really quite different from the original in an innovative way, with an extended ending and totally different drumming - I somehow doubt Ian Paice could pull this off.

Click here to check out or buy this CD



Written December 1999


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