Welcome to the sixth instalment of my annual labour of love, otherwise known as my end-of-year top 30 countdown. Every year I think that I should save myself a whole lot of work and effort by just writing one post that lists my top 30 records in one go. It’d certainly be less onerous and more succinct. Some of you might even prefer this approach.
However, every year I decide against it. The bottom line is that I enjoy doing it this way. I like the fact that I can give the best albums of the year a final moment in the spotlight and give them the attention that they deserve. After all, the musicians have put a lot of effort into these albums and if they are good, then they are worthy of a little extra effort on our part. It might also mean that the record grabs the attention of a few people who shamefully missed my review earlier in the year.
So, in short, here we are again. Sit back, grab a beverage of your choice and enjoy the ride.
If you’ve missed the previous picks in this series so far, links to these can be found at the bottom of this post.
On that note, let’s get on with the main event…
‘Legend of the Starborn’
Score of Much Metal: 9.25
I remember the first time that I heard Gamma Ray. I remember the first time that I heard Rhapsody. And I remember the first time I heard Helloween and Lost Horizon. The reason being that when done properly, power metal can be one of the best subgenres of metal, delivering huge amounts of fun and endless entertainment. These aforementioned bands all deliver this in spades, meaning that they remain special to me.
When done badly, however, power metal can also be one of the most turgid and festering piles of manure. It is because of this that I found my love of this style of music heavily waning of late. Aside from a few notable exceptions, I have found myself bored to tears with most power metal offerings over the past few years.
But then, out of nowhere, my faith in the genre has been rekindled, thanks to Veonity and their third full-length release, ‘Legend of the Starborn’. It isn’t massively original and it is more than a little preposterous. But it is a whole lot of good, clean fun. And importantly, it remains so after some concerted and repeated listening over the past couple of months. I don’t see that changing any time soon either.
Merging a typically epic concept with big choruses, strong melodies, energetic tempos and a properly heavy metal muscularity, Veonity may just have earned themselves a chair at my own personal power metal top table. And the longer the year has gone on, the more certain I am becoming that this isn’t just vacuous hyperbole.
To quote my review of 7 November 2018:
“After spending what seems like weeks listening to it, I have to say that ‘Legend Of The Starborn’ is arguably the best power metal record that I have heard for some time. Certainly throughout 2018, probably longer.
Musically, Veonity have managed to take some of the best bits from a number of the power metal elite and pull it all together in a way that sounds invigorating and, whilst not entirely original and unique, it is at least fresh and enticing, full of energy, verve and with a lively sparkle too.
You will hear varying tempos from authoritative mid-tempo stomping, to all-out double-pedal insanity and quite a few galloping rhythms for good measure. Importantly for a metal album, we also hear strong riffs and tons of lead guitar histrionics often neo-classical in delivery. In addition, almost every single song features an epic, anthemic chorus that, given a few spins, will get lodged in your head and have you grinning like a loon and thrusting your fist to the skies.
Veonity have been around for five years or so but in 2018, with ‘Legend of the Starborn’, they have well and truly announced their arrival into the upper echelons of the power metal elite. If only all power metal was this good!”
Read the full review here.
If you missed the previous posts in my 2018 list, click here:
If you missed my ‘best EPs and compilations of 2018, you can read that here:
And here’s a reminder of my countdown series from previous years: