So I was pretty hard on Gloryhammer back when I reviewed this playlist a couple of years ago. Turns out I didn’t get the joke. But that’s because the joke sucks worse than the music. Look at the font of that title; even by 1992 we’d moved past that font as futuristic. So it’s obviously all tongue-in-cheek. But the problem is that, while it’s all completely ridiculous, it’s not funny. (Of note: Gloryhammer shares a band member with Alestorm, whose song I also hated on that playlist.)
I’ve explored comic music a lot here, but what makes bands like The Darkness and Flight Of The Conchords work is that their songs are pretty good, too. They’re poking fun at a genre, but they’re steeped in it so well that they can actually write good stuff. Gloryhammer is completely steeped in fantasy metal, but it’s just standard fare (albeit fast and virtuosic), and so even the silly story of some intergalactic battle from 992 reborn a millennium later isn’t humorous to save it from sinking under its own weight.
But not only does Gloryhammer fail to be original musically, they completely whiff on the comedy aspect as well. If you think about a band like Steel Panther, they’re funny because they put a twist on something like, instead of singing about banging girls, they sing about the VD that goes along with indiscriminate banging. Gloryhammer, however, just ratchets everything that’s ridiculous about fantasy metal up a little bit. Like, all they’ve done is combined goblins and galaxies and created some silly word salad song titles. Given the already ludicrous nature of the genre, they’ve barely even amplified anything.
Without humor or songs, it’s hard to understand why anybody would listen to this. But I’ll give it a second clown for musical chops and for the stopped clock being right on a few tracks.
Like: “Rise Of The Chaos Wizards,” “Questlords of Inverness, Ride To The Galactic Fortress!”
Meh: “Infernus Ad Astrum,” “Goblin King Of The Darkstorm Galaxy,” “Victorious Eagle Warfare,” “Universe On Fire,” “Heroes (Of Dundee),” “Apocalypse 1992”
Dislike: “Legend Of The Astral Hammer”
Hate: “The Hollywood Hootsman”
Song Notes: After the jump
- Infernus Ad Astrum – star fire?
- Rise Of The Chaos Wizards – double kick is amazeballs
- Legend Of The Astral Hammer – hate the beginning. And by now I’m already sick of the double kick.
- Goblin King Of The Darkstorm Galaxy –
- The Hollywood Hootsman – too damned catchy. I do not enjoy this going through my head.
- Victorious Eagle Warfare –
- Questlords Of Inverness, Ride To The Galactic Fortress!
- Universe On Fire – His Swiss accent is cute here. This is sonic overload, but it’s short enough.
- Heroes (Of Dundee) – has its moments, but the chorus is awful. bridge is pretty cool
- Apocalypse 1992 – Has a ridiculous amount of stupid monster/alien/evil lord vocals that sounds pretty much exactly the same as when Iron Maiden did it unironically.