It’s just a slab of high energy, old school, thrash & classic metal. They have taken a good helping of Metallica and Maiden, and added a bit of thunder to make it their own.
There’s also an essence of 80s Sunset Strip hanging over the whole affair. A kind of heavy metal haze. That’s a good thing, as it helps to add texture to their more obvious leanings. It bolsters the passion injected into every riff and beat.
Some parts cut very close to their influences. The title track in particular features moments which could have come direct from Seventh Son… or Somewhere in time. However, as mentioned above, there’s something else in the delivery. Also, the lead work is delicious. Not a moment of guitar solo feels extraneous or wasted, and in this quadrant of heavy music, you really want that.
If you need a good, solid hit of classic metal, but something you haven’t already heard, this album is well worth getting your leather mitts on. This is heavy metal worship for sure.
I’d personally like to hear more diversifying, but to make the statement this release does about the band’s sound, that might not have been the smartest move.
Not to be associated with the German power metal band of the same name, this Victorius were formed in Scotland in 2006 but after several successful support slots, fate intervened and the band split due to personal differences.
However as is the way with these things usually in 2016, drummer Ryan Shepherd vocalist/lead guitarist John Brandon and bassist John Gibbons all got back together due to social media and with the addition of guitarist Arroll Kelly they came a close second in the Glasgow M2TM and then set about writing this debut full length, which was finished during lockdown along with enough new material for two more albums.
Since the reformation Kelly has left replaced by Stewart Kennedy on guitar but the musicals style of the band has stuck resolutely to the classic NWOBHM/Thrash template.
Rise From The Flames is a prophetic title that speaks about the band’s return from the embers and they are certainly ablaze as Breaking Down The Walls opens with a style of riff you will have heard numerous times with Maiden looming large, though John Brandon’s vocals are a little more in the Papa Het style, though occasionally he goes up into the higher realms. To The Death actually reminds this writer of ‘Tallica’s Motorhead covers, while Bleed For Me is probably the albums best track as powerful slow burner that starts off the longer, more technical songs to close out the record.
What’s instantly obvious from this record from the outset is that often when bands split (and reform) it’s because they originally had little talent but now have more free time (sorry it’s true). However in this case Victorius have bag-full of talent the rampaging rhythm section of Shepherd, Gibbons and Kennedy is bouncy and slick, shifting between those trad NWOBHM and speed metal runs while Brandon’s lead playing erupts with melodic brilliance also linking in to some lush twin guitar harmonies.
As well as the great performances the songwriting too is very good, yes they are well worn tropes but when bands such as Cauldron, Enforcer, Striker are all doing this sort of thing over in continental Europe it’s nice to hear a UK based band jumping on the NWOTHM bandwagon to great effect. After a long wait Rise From The Flames is a worthy debut from this Scottish metal mob.
Well worth seeking out! 8/10