GALNERYUS - Ultimate Sacrifice

review - 25.10.2017 11:01

An epic tale told by music.

GALNERYUS released their new album on September 27th. It is a musical sequel of Under The Force Of Courage, which was released in 2015. Two years of waiting has paid off because Ultimate Sacrifice is an epic musical story told by powerful guitar and bass lines, keyboard, drums, and vocals. It was definitely worth waiting for, and is certainly worth listening to.

This power metal album could easily be a soundtrack to any fantasy movie. The opening number introduces the listener to the world that GALNERYUS creates within their albums. On the previous release the hero brought harmony to the fantasy land he lived in, but after he perished, the fragile peace was threatened. The two nations have to once again fight to free themselves from the new dictatorship, and Ultimate Sacrifice is the tale of this fight.

Thanks to the amazing melodies and the powerful voice of the vocalist, SHO, nearly all the songs on this album feel like they are meant to energize one on the battlefield. For example, while listening to The Shadow Within, one can imagine a dark knight galloping atop their horse through the vast steppe; there is even a similar scene on the album’s cover art. SYU and FUMIYA help create the atmosphere of this number with their rhythmical guitar lines and hypnotizing drumming. Wings of Justice on the other hand could be easily mistaken for some Hollywood blockbuster’s opening number. Both songs include a melody that is quite catchy and will stay with the listener for quite some time.

Tracks on this album were in large part composed by guitarist SYU, but it was the band’s keyboard player, YUHKI, who wrote With Sympathy and Rising Infuriation. The second title creates a somewhat frenzied cacophony amongst the familiar grandeur of the album. On the other hand, With Sympathy is a variety of emotions closed within the shape of a powerful song. Those emotions can be also found in the lyrics, which tell the story of beating the odds in order to prevail.

This album corresponds with typical power metal patterns, and reinterprets them in a very interesting way. Sometimes there are unexpected notes or bridges, as found in Heavenly Punishment, which is a pleasantly fresh surprise on this album. Alternatively, Whenever You Are gives a nice opportunity to catch some breath because this number is much slower and more ballad-like than others. There is also a very distinct bass line in this song, perfectly delivered by TAKA. This song conveys a love confession from the young knight who dearly misses his lady.

The last two tracks on the album are particularly worth paying attention to. Brutal Spiral of Emotions and Ultimate Sacrifice are powerful, complex tracks, lasting over ten minutes each; both were composed by SYU, who also wrote most of the lyrics. Brutal Spiral of Emotions is divided into three parts: Blinded By Anger, Burning Within and Soul Carried By The Wind. These musical chapters can be easily distinguished while listening, but at the same time they create a consistent musical experience. Brutal Spiral of Emotions starts with very angry, brutal guitar lines, then the anger gradually burns out so the track can proceed toward a more dramatic feeling, filled with guitar and keyboard solos. The finale is played on the piano, so one can be assured that the hero in this musical story finally found his peace.

Ultimate Sacrifice is even more intricate because it’s divided into five chapters: Wishing To Liberate, The Battle In Desperation, The Reality In The End, Phantasmagoria, and The Living And The Dead. Previous tracks certainly contained an epic sound, but Ultimate Sacrifice encompasses the total musical résumé of GALNERYUS’ powerful style. The beginning of the song is slightly melancholic, almost dreamy – as if longing for freedom. It quickly builds up to become an intensive track driven by speeding guitar and keyboard lines, as well as rush drumming. There’s also a lot going on with vocals, and even an additional modified back-vocal for a moment, alluding to the voice of a villain from fantasy movies. All of this concludes with breathtaking solos, and the last few notes consist of sounds from an old music box, creating an eerie atmosphere.

Ultimate Sacrifice is a musical adventure where GALNERYUS invites the listener to visit a fantasy world they created with their songs and lyrics, and to join them in the epic battle. Each track compliments and corresponds with each other, depicting a complete story and creating an overall excellent piece of art. It is definitely a “must-have” for all fans of powerfully moving music.

Below you can find a listening digest of the album, and watch the PV for Ultimate Sacrifice:

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