Judicator – At the Expense of Humanity ALBUM REVIEW

THIS is the power metal album I’ve been looking for all this time. One of the cornerstones of power metal is the power of the riff and melody. What power metal has above other genres is this ability to be extremely clean and lyrical, as there isn’t any other extreme aesthetics to get in the way. A lot of the power metal I’ve listened to this year has not understood that and tried to be epic by adding symphonic pieces, or chugging in the worst way possible, or in any way trying to get away from what power metal does best. This album thrives on melody and riffs, along with vocals that are exactly what power metal vocals are supposed to be: clean, a little corny, and a sense of pride in the singers voice, as in they’re projecting their passion in a triumphant way, unlike other metal which is trying to be very down and dark. Another excellent aspect of this album is the actual progressive nature of this album. While most of the album has tracks that are too short to really make long, progressive journeys, tracks 6 and 12 (the two longest tracks on the album) really are epics with the progression that so much progressive music lacks these days. But the real progression in the album is that you can very well distinguish all of the tracks from each other, for which the antithesis is a plague in metal. Each track has some unique aspect of it, which I would definitely say isn’t the case for most power metal.

This is not to say this album doesn’t have flaws. For one, it’s 66 minute run time is a bit much, though it isn’t exactly awful considering it’s 66 minutes of good music. The occasional rough vocals also feel out of place to me, especially in such a clean, powerful album. There’s also a few tracks which are essentially filler, including the final track, which really closed out the album on a disappointing note considering the second to last track was an 8 minute epic. I completely think a few of the tracks could’ve been cutout entirely and the album probably would’ve been improved. Tracks 2-4 don’t really have much going on that’s different from one another. They’re all about the same length and very much similar in style. It isn’t really until the 6th track, a 10 minute monolith of a track and the longest track on the album, where things start really ramping up in terms of different styles.

This album doesn’t try to do anything new, I will admit that. It just recognizes what power metal is and executes the best anyone has executed it thus far this year. However I can’t quite give it a 9, because of the very fact that, while it does execute power metal extremely well, it runs into the age old problem of doing everything right, but not doing anything extra to earn the highest grade.


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