ALBUM REVIEW: Nanowar Of Steel – Stairway To Valhalla

Ever wondered what Cthulhu sounded like on the other end of a phone? Thanks to Italian metal force NANOWAR OF STEEL, the answer can be found. Their current release, Stairway To Valhalla, could even give STEEL PANTHER a run for their money in the parody department. It takes us on a journey through a mesh of metal genres ranging from thrash to power and gives us an array of many sound effects. Dog barking is only one of the sounds.

The first two tracks give us an instant indication of the band’s intriguing and fun sound. After enticing instrumental Declination, you have the track Barbie MILF Princess Of Twilight. The song has a typical power metal feel with the big vocals and catchy musical arrangements. One doesn’t expect however the cartoon like voices singing parts of the chorus. This catches you off guard but in a funny way. If there is a band that can make Barbie metal, then it’s this band. Especially when power metal veteran Fabio Lione (ex-RHAPSODY OF FIRE, ANGRA) is a guest vocalist for the track. It’s now safe to say that metal heads will now have their equivalent of Barbie Girl to enjoy. Especially with the comical lyrical content describing how she is a sorceress trapped in a spa.

With the beginning containing mainly power metal vibes, be prepared for the thrash metal sounds of Heavy Metal Kibbles. Yes, a heavy metal song about dog food. This album gets more random by the minute. The melody of this track is perfect for the amusing lyrics and dog barking. If MEGADETH and KING DIAMOND were to come up with a parody tune, this would be it.

Even though the track …And Then I Noticed That She Was A Gargoyle is the ballad of the album, it still provides comic relief and laughter. The track has reminiscents of 80s power ballads such as FOREIGNER’s I Want To Know What Love Is and POISON’s Every Rose Has It’s Thorn. This type of style is perfect for the lyrics describing how he meets a lady on a Twilight Chatroom only to discover that she was a gargoyle. A literal gargoyle made out of stone. The style, the lyrics and the catchy melody make this song one of the best parody songs to date.

Now there’s two words you thought you’d never see together. The track Vegan Velociraptor could easily be placed on a children’s TV show and could be a character. The melody is uplifting which is perfect for the story of this Vegan Velociraptor. Could this be the metal equivalent of Barney The Dinosaur? We will see. It ends of a grand conclusive note with Hail To Lichtenstein. The marching rhythms and bombastic melody will make anyone who listens to this track feel extremely proud to have gotten to the end of the album and still want more.

There is a lot of nonsense on this album but for NANOWAR OF STEEL this works solidly in their favour. Where else are you going to hear a song about a Vegan Velociraptor or Uranus? This album is the ultimate happy metal portfolio that will see smiles stretching across even the grumpiest and most evil of faces.

Rating: 8/10

Stairway To Valhalla is out now via self-release.

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