LANCER - Mastery
March 1, 2017, a year ago
Swedish metal “mastery” this is. Lancer is back with their third album and first with Nuclear Blast. Gone is the odd, but alluring ostrich mascot adorned on the first two releases. Mastery is a bit more of a mystical, darker themed power metal record with some thrashy, scorching parts thrown in.
Vocalist Isak Stenvall will make or break the band for most listeners. He’s a like a mix of Joacim Cans and Tobias Sammet, especially when he sings in his higher register and man he can shatter the grass with his sky high tone. The track “Follow Azrael” could have been taken right from Edguy’s Theater Of Salvation and that’s not a bad thing at all.
The riffs and lead breaks possess fire and combined with the seamless rambunctious verse phrases and sing-able choruses; Lancer is band that have hit their stride in the metal realm. The bouncy “Widowmaker” and Maiden like opener “Dead Raising Towers” are proof positive of that. The thrashy “Freedom Eaters” is welcome difference to the mid-paced epic “Victims Of The Nile” or the brooding “World Unknown” ballad. Funnily enough, the bonus track “The Wolf And The Kraken” is one of the catchier cuts and it’s too bad it’s been relegated to “bonus” status.
Lancer has thoroughly delivered with their first release on a well-known label. The Swedes have matured to a force that is indeed to be reckoned with. Any heavy/speed/power metal fan would be foolish not to listen!